An empty minivan lies at the bottom of a spring in southwest Beijing, with local residents unaware of how it got there, local divers revealed Sunday.

The van was first discovered by divers from Beijing-based SinoScuba during the summer of 2014, lying on its side in about 17 meters of water. The vehicle is at the bottom of Ma Pao Quan, a.k.a. The Well, in Fangshan. The natural spring is a popular swimming site for local men and is occasionally used for training by local scuba divers.

Since last summer, the van's windshield was smashed, revealing an empty interior. Saturday's dive was the first opportunity to photograph the site. Given the level of aquatic growth, divers estimated the vehicle has been there for two years at most. Local visitors to The Well said they didn't know anything about a van ending up at the bottom of their favorite swimming hole.

The Well is not near any major road, and the van's location on the east side of it makes its ending up there even stranger. A low brick wall blocks direct driving access into The Well on its southern side, and other obstacles would prevent even the most careless driver from accidentally falling in.

The photos were taken during SinoScuba's Dive Against Debris, an environmental initiative by Project AWARE to encourage both scuba divers and non-divers to keep water sites clean, and to remind people to reduce overall consumption, especially plastic bottles and other items that may be recyclable but are too easily discarded.

Other items located or retrieved during the dives included three full mannequins (one male, two female); two pairs of swim goggles; one pair of glasses; a file cabinet; and a fortune god (财神) statue.

SinoScuba has already scheduled its next Dive For Debris to take place at the Underwater Great Wall in Hebei province July 4-5.

Disclosure: Steven Schwankert, founder of SinoScuba, is the executive editor of True Run Media, parent company of the Beijinger.

Photo: Steven Schwankert/the Beijinger


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