The seas and oceans of the whole world are full of wrecks. More or less old ships, sunk during naval battles or victims of the elements, which sometimes turn out to be quite fascinating. Especially when the wrecks in question are at the center of somewhat creepy or in any case curious stories…
1. The Antikythera
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It was in 1900 that divers discovered the wreck of this boat off the Greek island of Antikythera. The first thing to have surprised them is the crazy amount of corpses arranged all around. That said, a closer examination of the site allowed them to realize that what they had taken for bodies were in fact statues. It’s been 2,000 years since this Roman ship sank, spilling its cargo. A load in which was also discovered a disturbing object: a kind of mechanism capable, thanks to various gears, of mapping the phases of the moon and the position of the sun, but also of predicting 223 years of eclipses. So far, no device so sophisticated and so old had been found anywhere.
2. The World Trade Center Ship
It was during the work following the attacks on the World Trade Center that the wreckage of a strange wooden ship was found in the ground, right next to the location of the Twin Towers. Several searches revealed that the boat dated from the early 1770s. However, the reasons for its location are not very clear. Some experts have claimed that it may have been part of the land that at the time was filled in to build part of Lower Manhattan.
3. The Mystery Boat
In general, when we find a wreck, we always end up finding its origin. Not here. This wooden ship, discovered in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in 2011, has never been identified. Not at the moment anyway. A boat obviously quite old, in which a stove, several plates and glass bottles have been updated, but also weapons. It was therefore impossible to know if it belonged to an army, to pirates or if it was a ship carrying passengers. Of course, we also don’t know why it sank.
4. The intact wrecks of the Black Sea
About forty ships were found in the depths of the Black Sea. All representing the same particularity: their exceptional state of conservation. And yet, some date from the Byzantine Empire. The oldest having sailed around the year 330. The exceptionally high salt level of the sea explaining this phenomenon. The salt prevents any proliferation of micro-organisms which usually eat the wrecks.
5. The Lusitania
It was the biggest ship in the world. The Lusitania which left for its final voyage, in May 1915, before being torpedoed by a German U-boat. The First World War had begun and this tragic accident, which claimed the lives of 1197 people, prompted the United States to join the fight. But why did the Germans target this boat when it was carrying only civilians? Perhaps precisely because it was transporting not only civilians but also ammunition. In any case, this is what the research confirmed. The British government having refused to recognize that the ship was then participating in the war effort in an indirect way. It took until 2014 for the authorities to change course.
6. The Andrea Doria
It was in 1956 that this Italian ship sank off the coast of Massachusetts. 46 people perished. Since then, the wreck has attracted many divers and is known to be extremely dangerous. 16 explorers lost their lives there when they found themselves trapped in this veritable tortuous labyrinth.
7. HMS Terror
The story that inspired the cult book Terror by Dan Simmons as well as the excellent series The Terror… It was in 1845 that the HMS Terror and her twin, the Erebus, set out to find a passage through the Arctic. Finally stuck in the ice, the crews had to manage to survive in extreme conditions. 106 sailors left the wrecks. No one ever heard of it. The HMS Terror was never found again… In 2016, however, a dramatic turn of events: the Terror was discovered intact 24 meters under water.
8. The Mary Celeste
A wreck which in fact is not one. It must be said that the story of the Mary Celeste is not common. A boat that was discovered, completely emptied of its occupants, intact, off the Azores, on December 4, 1872. An authentic ghost ship. It was later said that everyone had left after believing that the hull was taking on water or that the load of denatured alcohol had given off fumes which had driven the crew crazy. It seems that a giant squid attacked the boat… However, the ship was subsequently put into service again before being deliberately scuttled as part of a dark attempt at insurance fraud.
9. The Baltic ship
Discovered in 2009, this astonishing wreck could not be explored until 2019. The opportunity to verify that its condition was truly remarkable. The specialists having affirmed that it was as if the boat had sunk the day before. A ship over 500 years old, resting at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, similar to those used by Christopher Columbus and Leonardo da Vinci. The researchers thus found cannons, intact masts, a boat and several other things that the particularly low temperature of the Baltic waters made it possible to preserve.
10. The mysterious Breton ship
It was while looking for the famous ship La Cordelière, off Brest in Brittany, that researchers discovered a rather intriguing wreck. One thing is certain: it is not La Cordelière, this Breton wreck sunk in 1512. However, nothing allows them to truly identify the building. Research was launched in 2019 to try to learn more. To be continued then…