Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nan Madol: Another Site of Mystery

By Brian Mariani

David Astley:
Imagine a city built on the ocean and rising up high over the surface of the water. This was Nan Madol.

A mysterious, abandoned series of structures built on top of a coral reef can be found nearly 6,000 miles from California, off the small island of Pohnpei in Micronesia. Here, there are seemingly simple stone walls built up to 50 feet high in places, with no art, no painting, and no ornate details at all. Only legends are left of the large civilization that once inhabited these structures.[i] 

"The Spaces Between"

Nan Madol means “’the spaces between’. The name refers to the canals zigzagging throughout and separating each artificial island structure.[ii] These ruins are clearly sophisticated in their engineering and design. They were built using naturally formed prismatic basalt columns and fitted together to form a strong stacked wall.

CTSnow. Flickr Creative Commons

The site conjures up more questions: How could a “primitive” culture build structures like this? Where did those stones come from and how did they move them there?

Who lived in Nan Madol?

The Saudeleur people supposedly inhabited Nan Madol for more than a millennium until they were finally wiped out in the 17th century. This culture adored and even worshipped the sea. They considered eels holy and their priests would feed turtle innards to eels. (Could this have any connection to worldwide serpent worship?)

Comparable to the Pyramids of Egypt?

Nan Madol “is composed of 92 artificial islands spread over 200 acres abutting Pohnpei’s mangrove-covered shore.” Most of the structures were supposedly built between the 13th and 17th century by a population of less than 30,000 people.
Archaeologist and researcher, Dr. Rufino Mauricio, explains that the effort spent on these structures was greater than that needed for the construction of the Pyramids of Egypt! The massive stones and columns used in the construction of the artificial landforms were probably moved from the other side of the island. Researcher Christopher Pala explains in his article for the Smithsonian that “the total weight of the black rocks moved is estimated at 750,000 metric tons, an average of 1850 tons a year over four centuries. ‘Not bad for people who had no pulleys, no levers and no metal,’ said Mauricio.”

How did they move those stones?

Mauricio explains that “We don’t know how they brought the columns here and we don’t know how they lifted them up to build the walls. Most Pohnpeians are content to believe they used magic to fly them.”

CTSnow. Flickr Creative Comons
This solution is not unique to these people. Magic, humming, drumming or whistling has been described as a way to move stones in several cultures such as the Aymara Indians at Tiahuanaco, the creators of the Easter Island Moai, the builders of the megaliths of Baalbek, and even for the Great Pyramid. These techniques have also supposedly been harnessed by Tibetan Monks.[iii]

Is this a demonic power? Is Satan using this to keep people distracted by their own accomplishment and pride so as not to turn to God and rely on Him? We know that tribal and island cultures all around the world still practice shamanism and spirit guides that appear to have demonic connections, and this appears to be a common thread in the span of history.

Moving the Stones through Water

It is possible that these people could have rafted the stones by dragging them underwater. It takes much less effort to move something underwater due to the physics concept of Archimedes’ principle. There may be evidence of a trail of dropped blocks in the waters surrounding the island, but at present this is still inconclusive.

A kayaker explores the ruins

Travel Across the Waters

Another relevant issue that comes up in this study is that the island of Pohnpei, where Nan Madol exists, is more than 500 miles away from any other major islands. History records that these Saudeleur people started their civilization in the 6th century and maybe even before then. How did people get to an island so distant and set apart from other mainland areas?

This is evidence that people early in history took long voyages out into the ocean. They had the boats, the resources and the intelligence to risk these excursions. People were not as isolated as we often think they were throughout history.

Keep Thinking

Nan Madol is yet another evidence backing up the idea that ancient cultures were more intelligent than we give them credit for. They were creative engineers, strategic builders and skilled travelers. God created some amazing genius in mankind throughout history.

Remember to keep God’s word central as you learn and study about other sites, and about history and cultures. Keep thinking outside of the box of the stereotypical secular view and look for different angles.

Share with us!

One of our readers asked us about research on this site and we are so glad they did! Are there any mysterious or puzzling ancient sites that fascinate you? We’d love to hear about them and maybe add them to our research! Let us know in the comments or send us an email.

Interested in more ancient mysteries? Read our post about the baffling technology of ancient times or the theories of ancient flight!

[i] Christopher Pala, Nan Madol: The City Built on Coral Reefs,, November 03, 2009,, accessed September 6, 2013.
[ii] Dr. Von Zuko, The Lost City of Nan Madol, 1998,,, accessed September 6, 2013.
[iii] David Pratt, Gravity and Antigravity, Feb 2001, last revised July 2007,, accessed September 6, 2013.
Ian RoeBuck, Ancient Egyptians and Levitation of Heavy Stone Blocks for the Pyramids, Nov 1, 2011, edited August 15, 2013,, accessed September 6, 2013.
John Black, Levitation through sound closer to reality, July 23, 2013,, accessed September 6, 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Truly a remarkable structure built by a less-known ancient society. Nan Madol for me is a reminder for all of us to not think that we are better than the others. Thanks for sharing this!