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A general view of underwater fairy chimneys, also known as stalagmites, after the withdrawal of water due to climate change and drought in Van Lake in Adilcevaz district of Bitlis, Turkey, on April 19, 2022. Stalagmites become visible due to withdrawal of water at different points of the coastline within the borders of the Adilcevaz district of Bitlis, which has the longest shore to Lake Van, and varying in length from three to 20 inches, draw attention. The stalagmites, which took thousands of years to form and are seen under water, attract attention from nature lovers and photography enthusiasts as well as scientists. (Sener Toktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A general view of underwater fairy chimneys, also known as stalagmites, after the withdrawal of water due to climate change and drought in Van Lake in Adilcevaz district of Bitlis, Turkey, on April 19, 2022. Stalagmites become visible due to withdrawal of water at different points of the coastline within the borders of the Adilcevaz district of Bitlis, which has the longest shore to Lake Van, and varying in length from three to 20 inches, draw attention. The stalagmites, which took thousands of years to form and are seen under water, attract attention from nature lovers and photography enthusiasts as well as scientists. (Sener Toktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A general view of underwater fairy chimneys also known as stalagmites after the withdrawal of water due climate change and drought at Van Lake, Adilcevaz, Bitlis, Turkey, April 19, 2022. Stalagmites are visible because water is withdrawn at different points along the coastline in the Adilcevaz District of Bitlis. This district has the longest shore to Lake Van and the longest stalagmites. They range in length from 3 to 20 inches. The stalagmites are a result of thousands of years of work and can be seen under water. They attract the attention not only from scientists but also nature lovers and photographers. (Sener Toktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images).

Receding water from climate-driven drought has revealed what appears to be a tiny underwater city in Turkey’s Van Lake.

They are microbialites and are also commonly known as fairy chimneys. They have taken thousands of year to form. They are “Living rocks“Microbialites” are collections of rock and sedimentary deposits that have been formed by microbes. The microbialites are three to two feet tall in Lake Van.

They were, however, hidden under the Adilcevaz district in Bitlis up until recently.

According to serhatnews.com. Lake Van has seen a decrease of precipitationThe lake’s water level dropped, causing it to recede.

Bitlis Adilcevaz district mayor Necati Gürsoy said that this is the first time he has seen the water level this low in his 40 years of serving the district.

“We are feeling the effects of global heating. Our water supply is decreasing and our agricultural lands are becoming dehydrated. The drilling waters, which were 100-150 meters before, have now decreased to 300 meters,” Gürsoy said, Serhat News reported.

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Turkish news site The Daily Sabah reported that the water level was at Lake Van had dropped more that 10 feet in certain areasThis meant that an area of as much as 4 square miles was completely devoid of water.

You can see the dramatic impact that climate change has had upon the Turkish lake by clicking through the slideshow.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily reflect the position of IBM, our parent company.

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