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White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum

Underwater Museum

Brief Introduction to White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum

The White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum, opened on the 18th of May in 2009, is located at the upper reaches of the Yangtze River off the coast of Fuling County, Chongqing Municipality. White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum was constructed to be a national cultural relic protection unit of Three Gorges cultural landscape. It is called the "Gem of China". And the UNESCO named it as "The only well-preserved ancient hydrological station in the world."

Function of White Crane Ridge

In the past White Crane Ridge served as an ancient device for measuring water levels of the Yangtze River in China, the equivalent of a hydrometric station. The horizontal rock ledge 1.6 km long and ten to fifteen meters wide, lay submerged under water most of the year, showing its upper face above water only during the low-water season of winter and early spring. The eyes of fish carved on the stone indicate the lowest water levels of the Yangtze River, which made the site a precious hydrographic marker.

Inscriptions in White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum

The White Crane Ridge Inscriptions are the earliest hydrological inscriptions in the world with the largest amount. Engraved on the rock are 163 inscriptions and pictures, which include 114 hydrologic annotations, which give detailed records of water levels in the river over 1200 years, since the first year of the Tang Dynasty; the assembled inscriptions and fish carvings, taken together, formed the longest such sequence in the world. One fish carving originally carved in the Tang dynasty was re-carved at a moment of lowest water in 1685: modern measurements recorded the elevation of their eyes, 137.91 metres, almost the same as that of the zero point of the modern water level gauge.

The fish carvings and hydrological inscriptions were virtually unknown in the West until 1970s, when Chinese experts presented photos of these two fish and hydrological data of Fuling for the past 1,200 years at an international hydrological symposium held in the UK.

The best-known of the fish carvings was a 2.8-metre carp, carved from a section of freestone. Hundreds of poetical homage words to the place were inscribed in rock faces, which have disappeared beneath the rising waters as the dam has been completed.

In 2003, Xinhua News Agency, the People's Republic's official press agency, headlined the on-line story, June 10, "Accident-maker reef no longer threatens Yangtze navigation".

Travel in White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum

Started to build in 2002, and finished in 2009, White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum is always covered with a mysterious mask.. There is the longest tunnel-typed escalator in Asia Bauheliang Underwater Museum. And then visitors can appreciate the numerous and marvelous inscriptions in it.