6 Valuable Shipwrecks Still Waiting to Be Found

  • 5 min read
  • Aug 17, 2022

6 Valuable Shipwrecks Still Waiting to Be Found

According to UNESCO’s staggering estimate, there are approximately 3 million shipwrecks in the Earth’s oceans, lakes and rivers. Many shipwrecks are located where you’d expect them, such as World War II wreck yards in the western Pacific and North Atlantic. And there are ruins you’d never think of, including the Namibian desert and under cornfields in Kansas. There are even wrecks in New York City: After the Twin Towers fell on 9/11, excavators found a shipwreck under the debris that dates back to 1773—they dated it by examining the rings of the ship’s wooden planks.

Like celebrities, there are A-list shipwrecks. particle for direct object Titanic, LusitaniaAnd Tolerance Movies, books, fan clubs, museum exhibits and consumer products have their own. But there is another category of ruins: the lost, the forgotten, and the quietly but spectacularly valuable.

Several of this class have been missing for centuries, some carrying millions (or billions) of lost treasure. According to famed wreck hunter David Mearns, the key to finding them isn’t searching hard on the seabed, but spending months or years researching the details of a ship, including how it was built, where it went down, where it went down and … any Eyewitness Report Mearns told me in an interview for my new book that anyone can start at home. drownable: obsession, deep sea, and shipwreck of Titanic

Here are six of the world’s most lucrative and valuable lost caves still waiting to be discovered.

The focal point of Portuguese military power in 1502, Flor della Mar It was actually a pirate ship. For a decade, the ship traveled from Portugal to Ormuz (in present-day Iran), Malacca (in Malaysia) and Goa (in India), bringing arms and muscle to the colonists and returning to Portugal with gold and other valuables. In 1511, when he was returning from Malacca laden with 400 men and thousands of pounds of gold – some estimate it to be worth more than $2 billion today. Flor della Mar It sank in a storm near Sumatra.

If the 500-year-old rumors are true, Flor della Mar It could be the most valuable shipwreck on earth. There’s just one wrinkle: the high-value cargo has Portugal, Malaysia and Indonesia all staking claims on the future prize, leaving a smaller slice for the enterprising explorer who finds it.

Basis Waratah was a British passenger ship often called the Australasian Titanic –But it was launched in 1908, four years before the real one Titanic It had a capacity of 750 passengers and 150 crew and made a round trip from London to Sydney. But on her second voyage, the ship was overweight and prone to small fires from an uninsulated boiler. It disappeared somewhere near Cape Town, South Africa, in a shipwreck graveyard known for its rough waters, bad weather, and rocky outcrops.

with its similarities to Titanic– Both ships were considered technologically advanced, for the rich, and completely unsinkable – trying to find Waratah It was removed in the 1980s. Groups of researchers have made at least six trips around the likely wreck site with no luck. “I’ve spent 22 years of my life searching for ships,” Emmeline Brown, head of the Wreck Hunter. told the Guardian When he finally surrendered in 2004. Now I don’t know where to look.”

Map of the Northwest Atlantic showing the location of the encounter between the ships Arctic and Vesta, September 27, 1854
Northwest Atlantic showing the location of the encounter between the North Pole and Vesta in 1854 / Wikimedia // Public Domain

It was launched in 1850 North Pole It was luxurious and fast – it could cross the Atlantic Ocean in 10 days. The privately owned ship was built with a generous subsidy from the US government to help US-based Collins Line compete with Britain’s Cunard Line. Four years after his transatlantic service, North Pole One night in 1854 on a French steamer off Newfoundland (not far from where, by the way, Titanic He disappeared in the same direction as he was moving in the opposite direction). At the time of its sinking, North Pole It was a disaster that killed about 300 people. But things took a turn for the worse with the horrifying revelation that the crew had boarded too few lifeboats and that all the women and children on board had died.

particle for direct object North Pole The tragedy undermined the long-held belief — which a 2012 study found to be largely a myth — that women and children are traditionally saved first. Usually they are the last, if at all, to be saved. Despite this shameful and avoidable tragedy, no investigation was conducted in the United States or Britain, and neither the ship nor the doomed passengers were found.

This was the most profitable carcass found to date Nuestra Senora de AtochaA Spanish galleon carrying so much gold that it took two months to load the wealth evenly before the ship sailed in 1622. When it was found near the Florida Keys by drowned hunter Mel Fisher in 1985, the gold was valued at $400. and 450 million dollars

particle for direct object AtochaHowever, the stack will be destroyed with its treasure Royal merchantAn English ship believed to be carrying 100,000 pounds of gold today is worth more than a billion dollars. It sank somewhere around the Isles of Scilly near Cornwall, England. In 2007, members of a professional salvage company operating under the code name Project Black Swan thought they had found the ship. Their haul—a disappointing $500 million, considering they were expecting more than double that—raised questions about the ship’s true identity. It was later thought that the ship was probably this Nuestra Senora de las Mercedesa galleon that sank in 1804 – meaning Royal merchant And all its gold may still be sitting somewhere near England’s Land’s End, waiting to be found.

Three famous ships – the Nina, pintaAnd Santa Maria– Carried Christopher Columbus across the ocean to Hispaniola (present-day Haiti) in 1492. But only the first two ships returned to Spain.

According to travel reports, tensions between Columbus and Juan de la Coza, a cartographer and Santa Mariamaster rider It all came to an end when Santa Maria It sank near Hispaniola on Christmas Day 1492. (He didn’t.) The ship was lost and never found.

Based on its cultural value alone, explorers have made repeated trips to find it Santa Maria. An archaeologist thought he had found the wreck in 2014, but UNESCO dismissed the find, saying it was a different ship based on its copper fittings, which were not used until centuries after Columbus.

Aerial photo of Nicomaruoro, the possible resting place of Amelia Earhart's plane
South Pacific Island of Nicomaru, Possible Resting Place of Amelia Earhart’s Missing Plane / Joshua Stevens / NASA Earth Observatory // Public Domain

It is not one of the most enduring mysteries of the 20th century ShipIt sank, but the wreckage of a plane was lost at sea. Aviator Amelia Earhart made history many times on her long flights across the Atlantic Ocean, becoming the first person to fly between Hawaii and the mainland United States. But in 1937, on the last leg of his attempt to circumnavigate the globe, his plane—with navigator Fred Noonan and himself in the cockpit—landed in the Pacific Ocean. Earhart and Noonan were lost at sea and presumed dead, but the wreckage was never found.

Dozens of explorers have longed to find a wreck that might lead to Earhart’s remains, solving the century-old mystery of what really happened. In 2017, National geography Collaborated with Bob Ballard, the man who invented it Titanic, to search for definitive evidence. Based on radio data and logbooks, Ballard and his team narrowed the search area to the waters off the small island of Nicomaru in the western Pacific Ocean. But DNA testing of the evidence in this area was inconclusive and Earhart’s mystery remains.

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