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I found these 1-block-wide tunnels that went straight down while exploring. I didn't get to the bottom of them, as you can see by my short tunnel beside the one on the left.

Since I couldn't get to them, I decided to pull up Terramap and take a quick look, and found it. However, there's another one right by it, so now I know it isn't just some weird occurrence. I went to the gamepedia, and I haven't found anything on it. What is it?

image of structure

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These are enchanted sword shrines.

A Shrine is marked by a long, narrow vertical shaft that may reach the surface, and features a small hill with Flower Walls and pools of water on either side. The breakable sword sprite rests atop the hill.

enchanted sword shrine

If you are lucky (33% chance), you can find an Enchanted Sword or Arkhalis in there, which are pretty nice if you get them early in the game.

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  • The Arkhalis can be useful even into the beginning of hardmode - in swarms of enemies it can do 600+ DPS. Note that there is only a 1/10 chance of getting it from a real sword sprite (which has a 1/3 chance of spawning) Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 21:16
  • The Enchanted Sword is also required when you want to craft the most powerful melee weapon as of 1.4, the Zenith
    – Sentry
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 11:00

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