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Climate Change Reveals Underwater ‘Fairy Chimneys’ in Turkey (PHOTOS) | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com – The Weather Channel

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)

Receding water from climate change fueled drought have revealed what looks like a tiny underwater city in Turkey’s Van Lake.

The formations are microbialites, colloquially called “fairy chimneys,” and have taken thousands of years to form. They are “living rocks,” collections of rock and sedimentary deposits formed with the help of microbes. In Lake Van, the microbialites range from three inches to just under two feet tall.

But up until recently, they were hidden under the lake in the Adilcevaz district of Bitlis.

According to serhatnews.com, the area near Lake Van has seen a decrease in precipitation, which caused the retreat of water from the lake.

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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 experiencing the effects of global warming. Our waters are getting less and less and our agricultural lands are dehydrated. The drilling waters, which were 100-150 meters before, have now decreased to 300 meters,” Gürsoy said, Serhat News reported.

Turkish news site, The Daily Sabah, reported in December the water level at Lake Van had dropped more than 10 feet in some areas, and that an area as large as 4 square miles was devoid of water entirely.

Click through the slideshow to see the jarring effect climate change has had on the Turkish lake.

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 represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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