Derinkuyu Mystery: A Hidden Ancient City Beneath Earth, But Why?

In the shadowy depths of Turkey’s ancient history lies a marvel of engineering and mystery: the underground city of Derinkuyu. First spotlighted in “Ancient Aliens” Season 12, Episode 16, this subterranean world beneath the site of Gobekli Tepe beckons with its enigmatic past. Let’s journey into the depths of history to uncover the secrets of Derinkuyu.

A Mysterious Discovery

The discovery of Derinkuyu reads like a page from a thriller novel. On December 28, 2014, a mere 300 miles from Gobekli Tepe, workers chanced upon a labyrinth of carved rooms and tunnels. These subterranean chambers, echoing the design of nearby Derinkuyu, spanned several miles and reached depths of hundreds of feet.

When author and researcher Andrew Collins accessed the site in 2017, he was astounded by its scale. Chambers, some stretching 120 feet, revealed a vast underground network, yet the mystery of the excavated rock’s whereabouts remained.

The Colossal Scale of Construction

The enormity of Derinkuyu’s construction is staggering. Over 5 million square feet of rock was removed, akin to the volume of over 370 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The absence of this excavated material in the vicinity deepens the enigma. Who orchestrated this massive undertaking, and for what purpose?

A Thriving Underground Community

Derinkuyu was not just a refuge; it was a bustling underground city. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 60,000 people could have lived here. Ingenious engineering provided air and water: deep vents allowed fresh air to circulate, while water wells ensured a sustainable supply of this vital resource.

Ingenious Self-Sealing Doors

The city’s self-sealing doors, made of basalt, are a marvel of ancient security. These massive stone wheels, when rolled into place, transformed Derinkuyu into an impregnable fortress. This feature suggests a need for defense, but against whom or what?

A Timeline in Dispute

Originally thought to be a refuge for early Christians around 1,500 years ago, Derinkuyu’s true age is now hotly debated. The discovery of Paleolithic tools, dating back at least 10,000 to 12,000 years, challenges our understanding of its history. It seems this underground city served various communities across millennia.


The underground city of Derinkuyu, nestled beneath the ancient Gobekli Tepe, stands as a monumental riddle from the past. Its origins and purpose continue to puzzle scholars and enthusiasts alike. As excavations continue, the secrets of this subterranean world promise to further unravel our perceptions of ancient civilizations. The enigma of Derinkuyu remains a fascinating chapter in the annals of human achievement and mystery.


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