Worldwide Droughts Uncover Ancient Relics, Ruins and Remains


This aerial view of the excavations in Iraq show how expansive the Bronze Age city that was submerged in the Mosul reservoir is. © Universities of Freiburg and Tübingen, KAO

Rising global temperatures fueled by climate change have caused catastrophic droughts from Arizona to Iraq. Lake Mead just outside Las Vegas, for instance, is the reservoir spanning the border between Arizona and Nevada, and the largest by volume in the U.S. According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Lake Mead was just 28 percent full Sept 5.

Lake Mead has landed in the headlines, not only because it is receding, but also because of what of what’s been uncovered since: five sets of human remains.


Experts believe there could be more remains still submerged, most of which are likely innocent drowning victims, but it’s almost certain there are a fair number tied to crimes, as well. On a less nefarious note, officials also discovered an unapproved boat ramp in the lake in August.

Lake Mead isn’t the only body of water that’s dried up and revealed some strange, hidden ruins and relics this summer. Take a look at some of the other surprises that were uncovered around the globe when the heat rose and the water receded.