A screenshot with a collage of images of some underwater sculptures is being shared on social media, claiming that these are 5,000-year-old idols of Hindu gods that have been found under the sea near Bali, Indonesia.
The text embedded on the screenshot reads, “5000yr old Shri Vishnuji found in Bali sea, Indonesia. Now Mahabratha as per @NileshOak Ji is 5500BC approx. So which Rajya of Bharat was Indonesia & did it participate in Mahabharata? Sanatan was always present in South Asia till Akhand Bharat boundaries @SatyaSanatanInd.”
The post has gone viral on Facebook.
NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim and found it to be FALSE.
Doing a Reverse Image Search of keyframes from the video directed us to a YouTube video uploaded on March 24, 2012, by Paul Turley that carried glimpses of the viral images.
The video description reads, “Again the underwater ‘Temple Garden’ just off ‘Temple Wall’ dive site in Pemuteran. Part of the ‘Reef Gardeners’ a social/environmental project created in 2005.”
We searched more about Paul Turley and found out that he is the owner of the “Sea Rovers Dive Centre” in Bali. Turley took to his blog and stated that some of his images were shared on social media with some imaginary stories claiming that the sculptures show an underwater Hindu Temple.
Turley wrote in his blog, “Apparently someone took my photo, posted it on Twitter and claimed an archaeological discovery off the coast of Bali. This went global, thanks to the internet and thus an urban legend was born. The follow-up story helped to clear up the matter but some journalists still got it wrong. Mystery of underwater Hindu temple in Bali solved.”
We further searched about underwater sculptures in Bali and found many articles published on Turley and these underwater sculptures. The headline of the article states, “The underwater temple’ turns out to be an artificial garden.”
Turley has claimed that the original idea of creating this underwater garden was of the founder of “Reef Seen Divers’ Resort” in Bali, Chris Brown.
Going through the resorts’ website, we found out that the underwater garden was created in 2005. The website further states, “An engineering feat, with over ten large stone statues resting on stone plinths and, a 4-metre high Balinese Candi bentar gateway. It is found at a depth of 28 metres and incorporates a cleaning station with schooling baitfish.”
We found another YouTube video uploaded by Turley which stated that “The Temple Garden was built in 2005 as part of the Reef Gardeners project.”
More searches led us to various blogs and Pinterest images that carried the same images as seen in the viral claim stating that the underwater temple garden in Bali was constructed recently. The claim that this temple was built 5,000 years ago is a hoax.
Thus, it is evident from the above information that the viral images of underwater sculptures in Indonesia are not 5,000-year-old but are from an artificial garden which was built in 2005.
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