Underwater pyramids off the Cinque Terre

Underwater pyramids off the Cinque Terre

6/7/2016 4:41:52 PM

This is only a guess of course but based on the circumstances you describe and your drawing, these might be artificial reefs (barriera artificiale in Italian).

These can come in a variety of forms including ships, tanks, cars, train cars and simple concrete structures. Here is a google images result of structures that are fairly similar to the one you have drawn. Some of these pics have humans next to them and from my guesses these structures are 1-6 meters tall.

Artificial reefs can have tons of different purposes (block ships from passing, prevent erosion, …) but my best guess here is to serve as a habitat for marine life, given that Cinque Terre is a marine protected area.

Further support for my theory comes from this report (in Italian) from 2010 describing such measures of the beach of Corniglia (now I doubt you swam this far up, if so kudos) and similar structures might well be in place off Riomaggiore. It says the objects were submerged in a depth of 7-9 meters in sandy ground, to prevent erosion of the sandy beach and as a habitat for fish. They still leave 5-7 meters of water depth for ships/boats. They should also be marked in sea maps for boats but I can’t find any such for the Cinque Terre right now.

Update: You specified having swum up all the way to Corniglia so it fits. This link you found actually shows the artificial reef structures on land and how they were submerged off the beach of Corniglia, while this video shows them underwater. From the pictures I guess 2-3 meters tall. Their purpose, given the report from 2010 might be more to prevent beach erosion than I thought, as there seems to be some strong seasonal currents taking away and filling up the sandy beach.
Here is a detailed documentation (in Italian, pictures included) of a similar project in Sicily.
The artificial reefs seem to be of this brand.

enter image description here

Image courtesy tecnoreef.it


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Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.

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