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Lost City Revealed: The Mysteries of Nan Madol Uncovered (Video)

Lost City Revealed: The Mysteries of Nan Madol Uncovered (Video)

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Step into the past and uncover the mysteries of Micronesia’s Nan Madol, one of the most ancient and enigmatic lost cities in the world. Built over 800 years ago from massive basalt rocks, this lost city is nestled in the dense jungle and mangroves. With groundbreaking technology like LIDAR and drones, the full extent of this city has been revealed, unlocking its secrets. Join the thrilling National Geographic expedition with archaeologist Albert Lin, as he delves deep into the oral traditions and stories of the people who built this monument, trying to unravel the mystery of how it was constructed.

Discover the magnificent and awe-inspiring city of Nan Madol, built by the Soudelor kings. From the massive temple constructed from pillars of basalt rock to the outer wall built to the edge of the reef, this lost city is a wonder of the ancient world. Advanced technology reveals the true size of the city and the tremendous human effort involved in its construction. Follow Albert Lin as he tries to uncover the enigma behind the building of Nan Madol, from the myths of magic to the reality of the effort required. Get ready to be captivated and transported to a world of ancient mystery and wonder.

Top image: Nan Madol in Pohnpei, Micronesia. Source: Optimistic Fish / Adobe Stock.

By Joanna Gillan



This city has attracted a lot of attention especially in recent years – it has been designated as a UNESCO historical site and is being cleared, preserved and restored for tourist visits. Pohnpei Island has a population of about 36,000, and has roads connecting the various villages.

The building materials, especially the hexagonal, pentagonal, and octagonal basalt columns used in the intermediate layers of wall construction are naturally formed volcanic rock and are found everywhere in the world. In the example of Nan Madol, they are found material and are simply (well, not ‘simply’!) transported to the site and lain like logs.


Pete Wagner's picture

“Built OVER 800 years ago.”  100% correct! 

Is older, much older.  The LIDAR scans found evidence of a fresh water aquifer and engineered channels from the mountains, which suggest that the purpose of the man-made stone mass, like the pyramids, was related to fresh aquifer water.  Like the Pyramids, the massive structure is similarly oriented on the cardinal directions, for its geo-magnetic/gravitational pull on the water.  The ancients, like modern man, preferred water from subterranean sources, NOT from run-off streams.  Question is, what happened to the culture that constructed it?  Certainly the later natives would know if their own culture made it – but instead have their nonsensical legend of the twin brothers who arrived in a canoe and made it.  This suggests an earlier, long gone, culture, yet again in another part of the world.

Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

Joanna Gillan's picture


Joanna Gillan is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. 

Joanna completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) degree in Australia and published research in the field of Educational Psychology. She has a rich and varied career, ranging from teaching... Read More

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