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Drought-stricken rivers around the world reveal treasures — and a troubling future

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The Yangtze, Asia’s largest river and a critical part of China’s economy, has seen water levels plummet amid a drought and record-breaking heat wave.

This has revealed three ancient Buddhist statues atop a normally submerged island in the southwestern Chongqing area of ​​the country.

The relics feature three monk-like figures sitting and watching over the river believed to be about 600 years old and built during the Ming Dynasty, which ruled China from 1368 to 1644, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

“There are thousands of such images in China during Ming’s time, but within the river reef, this is very rare,” Kim Minku, an art historian from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told NBC News.

The island reef is known as Foyeliang, or Buddha’s father island, Minku said. Sunken Nazi Warships

Csaba Krizsan / AP

Europe is also suffering a historic drought, with experts this week estimating it to be the continent’s worst in 500 years.

The Danube, the continent’s second longest river, has fallen to one of its lowest levels in decades – exposing dozens of German warships sunk during World War II and still laden with explosives.

More than 20 of these hulks have been found near Prahovo, a city in Serbia, according to Reuters. They were part of Nazi Germany’s Black Sea Fleet which was sunk by the Soviet army in 1944.

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