‘Spanish Stonehenge’ has reemerged amid Europe’s sizzling

A Spanish “stonehenge” has reemerged amid the country’s devastating drought, officials said.

The historic marvel, officially called the Dolmen of Guadalperal, has only been visible four times, according to officials.

Experts believe the striking circle of dozens of megalithic stones has existed since 5000 BC. However, it was first discovered by German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier in 1926 before it became flooded in 1963 due to a rural development project under Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.

The dolmen of Guadalperal, also known as the Spanish Stonehenge, is revealed due to the receding waters of the Valdecanas reservoir in the outskirts of El Gordo, Spain, Aug, 3, 2022.

Susana Vera/Reuters

Now, the structure sits in a corner of the Valdecanas reservoir located in the country’s central province of Caceres.

As Spain faces its worst drought in 60 years, officials say the water level in the reservoir has dropped to 28% capacity.

“It’s a surprise, it’s a rare opportunity to be able to access it,” archaeologist Enrique Cedillo from Madrid’s Complutense University told Reuters.

The structure itself has an unknown creator, experts say.

PHOTO: The dolmen of Guadalperal, also known as the Spanish Stonehenge, is revealed due to the receding waters of the Valdecanas reservoir in the outskirts of El Gordo, Spain, Aug, 3, 2022.

The dolmen of Guadalperal, also known as the Spanish Stonehenge, is revealed due to the receding waters of the Valdecanas reservoir in the outskirts of El Gordo, Spain, Aug, 3, 2022.

Susana Vera/Reuters

Dolmens are vertically arranged stones that usually support a flat boulder or capstone, according to the New World Encyclopedia. How they became erected, however, remains a mystery.

Because it is common to find human remains near or in dolmens across Europe, it is believed that the structures served as tombs, New World Encyclopedia said.

The dolmen was last visible in 2019, when Europe was facing a drought, NASA said. This 2019 drought was the first time the entire structure became visible since it was flooded in 1963, according to NASA.

PHOTO: The dolmen of Guadalperal, also known as the Spanish Stonehenge, is revealed due to the receding waters of the Valdecanas reservoir in the outskirts of El Gordo, Spain, Aug, 3, 2022.

The dolmen of Guadalperal, also known as the Spanish Stonehenge, is revealed due to the receding waters of the Valdecanas reservoir in the outskirts of El Gordo, Spain, Aug, 3, 2022.

Susana Vera/Reuters

A petition by AsociaciĆ³n RaĆ­ces de Peraleda was posted on Change.org in 2019 to have the structure moved from the reservoir. As of Thursday, it has over 45,000 signatures.

“It is a megalithic dolmen of great value that is now, for the first time, and who knows if it will be the last, fully accessible,” the petition reads.

The petition continues to read that the association launches a “voice of alarm” to officials to move the dolman, in order to “rescue” it and take “advantage of the current circumstances since it is still well preserved.”

PHOTO: Amalie Garcia picks up her dog next to The Dolmen of Guadalperal, a megalithic monument that emerged due to drought at the Valdecanas reservoir in El Gordo, western Spain, Aug. 13, 2022.

Amalie Garcia picks up her dog next to The Dolmen of Guadalperal, a megalithic monument that emerged due to drought at the Valdecanas reservoir in El Gordo, western Spain, Aug. 13, 2022. In the wake of three heatwaves and little rain in sight, Spain’s reservoirs are getting emptier by the week, and not just in traditionally more arid southern part of the country.

Manu Fernandez/AP

The petition states that the structure is deteriorating, as the rock has become porous and is cracking in some areas. It warns that if the structure is not moved, it may not be strong enough to move in the future.

The Iberian peninsula where the dolman lives is at its driest in 1,200 years, with winter rains expected to diminish further, a study published by the Nature Geoscience journal stated.