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Lake Jocassee

Lake Jocassee Treasure Calls to Mind Other Abandoned TownsThe Attakulla Lodge stands on the bank of what was the White Water River -- and is now 300 feet under the waters of Lake Jocassee. The lodge was built in 1904 and was open for many years, until 1971, when a power company began flooding the valley there to create Lake Jocassee.

The lake was later named Lake Jocassee, and it is now a popular destination for scuba divers. The novelty of an underwater hotel is the draw for most of the divers; the building still stands to this day. Nearby, divers can also explore an old cemetery and a girls' camp.

A site like Lake Jocassee calls to mind another -- much larger -- dam project: Three Gorges Dam, in China. When Three Gorges Dam was completed in October, 2008, it forced the relocation of 1.24 million people due to the flooding. An additional 4 million people are expected to be relocated by 2020. With displacing a combined total of 5.24 million people, one can only imagine the scuba diving paradise that has been created by the Three Gorges Dam. Entire cities now lie under the vast expanse of water created by the dam; entire neighborhoods, playgrounds, offices, schools, and anything else one can imagine.

Another abandoned -- or ghost -- town that comes to mind is Chernobyl, in the Ukraine. Since the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Complex in 1986, the entire area has been abandoned and is now called the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Chernobyl attracts tourists much as Lake Jocassee attracts scuba divers, and there are tours available for people willing to pay and make the risk of radiation exposure. Led by a tour guide, one can now see how people in this area of the Ukraine once lived, circa 1986. For the rest of time, future students of history will be able to visit Chernobyl to see exactly how this area was at that moment in time; a kind of Pompeii for the 1980s.

In visiting Lake Jocassee, scuba divers can rest assured they are simply looking at a relic of a past, simpler time in Attakulla Lodge. No nuclear disaster or massive population relocation was involved; it is like an underwater museum.

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