A shipwreck is a wreckage of a ship that is abandoned on land shores or deep inside the ocean. This word describes the remains of a ship that has sunk. A shipwreck usually happens when the ship strikes rocks, icebergs, or other ships. Although, it might be also due to poor maintenance and violent weather. Discovering these shipwrecks in the ocean helps us to study more about its history.
1. Meaning of Shipwreck Hunting
Shipwreck hunting is the physical search for ship remains. Shipwreck hunting is done by both treasure hunters & archeologists. Treasure hunters search for sunken shipwrecks and retrieve artifacts for their gain. And the archeologists search for shipwrecks to collect and record the information for research & study. The discovered remains are returned to the respective governments for further archeological study. (See Why Ice floats on Water?)
2. The Adventures of Shipwreck Hunting
A simple day at the sea can become an adventure if we discover the remains of shipwrecks in the ocean. While explorers can claim these remains for themselves, they must understand their rights and obligations towards their discovery. The most adventurous and enticing place is the ship cemetery in Svalbard, Greenland. It holds the record of more than 1,000 wrecks. It is believed that the number of such sites carries the remains of 30 ships that were sunk at different times.
3. Disputes Involved
Disputes over ship ownership have delayed the salvage of ships and the discovery of treasures. Two shipwrecks were discovered off the coast of Virginia by treasure hunter Ben Benson. The shipwrecks in the ocean were estimated to have a value of $500 million in coins and precious metals, but it was later returned to Spain. Later the Spanish government allowed its artifacts to be exhibited in Virginia. After a long flight, a federal appeals court ruled that Spain had the rights over the discovered ships. (See Why are the Bottlenose Dolphins becoming endangered?)
4. Mysterious Shipwrecks
When talking about mysterious shipwrecks in the ocean, archaeologists discovered a shipwreck of a Roman ship near the port city of Vlora in August 2011, this particular discovery was intriguing for archaeologists because the wreckage held historical information and 300 jars which were still unbroken. In May 2008, US treasure hunter Odyssey Marine Exploration found two shipwrecks near the English Channel. Here, they found artifacts that were worth approximately $500 million. (See How Did the “Unsinkable” Titanic Sink?)
5. Historical Relations
Nearly 40 centuries-old shipwrecks were found scattered at the bottom of the ocean. It looked like many ships that sank just yesterday but they sunk during the Byzantine Empire between 330 and 1452 AD. National Geographic reports say that some of these wrecks were identified as passenger ships and others as pirate ships. According to UNESCO, the Roman ships and warships of World War II lay seabed. Throughout history, the oceans have cost the lives of many ships including a Spanish treasure ship that was lost in a storm off the coast of the Padre Islands in 1554. (See The Mystery of Devils Kettle Waterfall)
6. The Civil War Ship
Marine Explorers during a shipwreck hunting found a Civil War ship, the SS Republic, about 1,700 feet underwater and about 100 miles off the coast of Georgia in 2003. An organization named Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates that writes and documents about shipwrecks said that they found a 60-foot single-masted sloop in Lake Michigan that dates back to the 1830s. They discovered this wreckage in water about 250 feet deep between Saugatuck and South Haven. (See Why Japan is Called Land of Rising Sun?)
7. The Wreck of Griffin
In 2011, Michigan-based treasure hunters discovered a shipwreck during their shipwreck hunting. They thought it was the wreck of Griffin, a ship that was built in 1679 for the missing French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de la Salle. But it was neither confirmed nor proved that it indeed was the wreck of Griffin. The state thought that it was just a mystery ship. Nearly 1500 shipwrecks were found at the bottom of Lake Michigan and none of them were related or similar to the wreck of the griffin.
8. David Mearns
David L. Mearns is one of the world’s greatest treasure hunters as he has helped people to find not only pirate treasures but also long-forgotten battleships. He also solved the mystery of HMAS Sydney. He recalled looking into the faces of his descendants when he presented the clear pictures of the sunken ships. These ships had served as graveyards for many sailors and civilians who had died in countless wars and accidents over the centuries. Mearns has searched and found dozens of sunken shipwrecks in oceans across the world. (See Are Dinosaurs Alive?)
9. The Lindberg Team
The Lindberg team is a Swedish treasure hunter group. When they were searching for shipwrecks in the ocean between Sweden and Finland, they stumbled across an unknown object. It was shown on their sonar image, and the object resembled a UFO. The search, however, intriguing ended soon after.