Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Drought Causes 450-Year-Old Church to Re-Emerge

Climate
Drought Causes 450-Year-Old Church to Re-Emerge

A Mexican church that has been submerged by a dam since 1966 has re-emerged due to a drought, according to the Independent. The church, known as the Temple of Santiago or the Temple of Quechula, is located in the Nezahualcóyotl reservoir in Chiapas, Mexico. Water levels in the Grijalba river, which feeds the reservoir, have dropped so low recently that the church is re-emerging for only the second time since the dam was built five decades ago.

The reservoir level has dropped 82 feet because of the drought, exposing the 450-year old church, which measures 183 feet long and 42 feet wide and has 10 feet-high walls, according to The Guardian.

The church, which is believed to have been built by Spanish colonists in 1564, was constructed to account for a growing population in the area, but was soon abandoned because plague struck the area. "The church was abandoned between 1773 to 1776 due to massive plagues sweeping the area," architect Carlos Navarete, who worked on a report about the structure, told the AP. "Epidemics were common in the Americas from the late fifteenth century, when explorers, settlers and traders introduced bacteria and viruses to the New World," says IFLScience.

Fishermen in the area have capitalized on the low water levels by ferrying "curious passengers around the ruins," said the Independent. In 2002, the first time the building emerged, water levels dropped so low that people were able to walk around inside the building, according to the AP. When the church emerged for the first time in nearly 40 years, "the people celebrated," local fisherman Leonel Mendoza told the AP. "They came to eat, to hang out, to do business. I sold them fried fish. They did processions around the church." For more on "lost" cities that have later been rediscovered, check out Top 25 Lost Cities by John Green (author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns).

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Oslo Becomes First Capital City in the World to Divest From Fossil Fuels

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less
Trending

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less
Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab's sample of the whitest paint on record. Purdue University / Jared Pike

Scientists at the University of Purdue have developed the whitest and coolest paint on record.

Read More Show Less