You’re not going to believe some of the amazing underwater discoveries found in our oceans! With 71 percent of the Earth’s surface covered in water, tons of valuable artifacts are bound to get lost. This includes everything from sunken ships to entire cities. Some of these lost ancient relics can be worth billions and tell us a lot about how ancient people lived. Luckily, new technological advancements allow underwater archaeologists to discover things easier and faster. Of course, there’s no telling what they’ll find in the future but we can still look at some of the things they’ve already found. These are 25 amazing underwater discoveries that left us speechless.
Police found two cars in an Oklahoma Lake, reopening a 40 year old case.
Using new sonar technology, police discovered two cars in an Oklahoma Lake with six bodies inside, reopening a 40-year-old missing person case. The discovery helped bring closure to families who wondered what happened to their loved ones.
Apollo 11 engines discovered underwater
The engines on the Saturn V rocket that launched Neil Armstrong and his crew into outer space on their Apollo 11 mission were found 14,000 feet below the ocean’s surface off the coast of Florida. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, funded the expedition.
The Discovery of the S.S. Central America
In 1857, the S.S. Central America sailed into a hurricane and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Part of its cargo was an enormous amount of gold. Then, in 1987, archaeologists discovered the wreck and pulled up 2,900 gold coins and 45 gold ingots.
The Lost Mahabalipuram Pagodas
In 2005, a tsunami off the coast of India revealed artifacts from an ancient city believed to be part of the Lost Mahabalipuram Pagodas. The structure and artifacts are believed to be part of a flourishing port city overtaken by flooding.
The Silfra Crack is right where the North American and Eurasian continent plates meet and are continuously separating 2 cm per year. So, if you scuba dive in the Silfra Crack, you’re literally in-between two continents. The water down there is also crystal clear due to cold temperatures and underground lava.
Nearby the hydrothermal vent system known as Loki’s Castle, scientists discovered a missing link between the single celled organisms that populated the Earth and the complex cellular life that showed up around 2 billion years ago. They called the microorganisms Lokiarchaeota and retrieved them about 1.5 miles under the Atlantic Ocean’s surface.
Underwater River in Black Sea
Scientists discovered a river 115 feet deep in the Black Sea, confirming their suspicions that rivers do exist in large bodies of water. If found on land, it would be considered the 6th largest river with the amount of water flowing through it.
Manganese Nodules in the Atlantic Ocean
Manganese Nodules form in all oceans but it was originally thought the largest amount formed in the Pacific Ocean. German scientists, however, expectedly discovered a vast underwater field of them in the Atlantic Ocean. The metal lumps are layer upon layer of metal ore crystallizing around a core. The discovery can help scientists better understand the Earth’s climate since it takes the nodules to form over millions of years.
The Mariana Trench
On March 23, 1875, the HMS Challenger discovered the Mariana Trench, the deepest trench on Earth. Going seven miles down into the ocean, few have been able to reach the bottom. On March 26th, 2012, James Cameron piloted the Deepsea Challenger – which he designed – down to 35,756 feet (10,898 meters), making a new record for a solo decent.
Lost City of Heracleion
Archaeologist Frank Goddio spent years searching for the Lost City of Heracleion off the coast of Egypt. Using advanced underwater screening technology, he finally found it. The ancient city was completely submerged 6.5 kilometers off the coast Among the ruins were 64 ships, 700 anchors, gold coins, and statues standing 16 feet tall.
The Uluburun Shipwreck
Discovered off the coast of Uluburun, the 3,300 old shipwreck is one of the oldest discovered and containing some of the wealthiest and largest artifacts of the Late Bronze Age. One of the most valuable items of the times was the golden seal of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti.
The largest and deepest underwater canyon is called Zhemchug Canyon in the Bering Sea. It’s deeper than the Grand Canyon and can be seen entirely from outer space.
First discovered by divers in 1995 in Japan, sea circles have perplexed researchers for years. Likening them to underwater crop circles, no one knew how they were formed until about a decade later when they found out it was a mating ritual by male pufferfish trying to attract a mate.
Lord Krishna's Lost City
Much like the city of Atlantis, the sunken city of Lord Krishna has been steeped in legend. However, recent excavations of an underwater city off the coast of India have caused some to speculate the myth could be partly true with some underwater structures dating back to the 15th century B.C.
The Vasa Shipwreck
Dated back to 1625, the Vasa set sail but unfortunately sank on her maiden voyage not far from the dock. Heavy winds toppled her over and she sank immediately. Archaeologists were able to recover the ship and now it’s in its own museum in Sweden.
The ancient Greek village of Pavlopetri has been found about 4 meters underwater. At 5,000 years old, it’s considered to be the oldest sunken city in the world. Scientists estimate the city sank due to an earthquake that shifted the land.
The Galleon San Jose
Embroiled in legal battles, the discovery of the galleon San Jose near Colombia is considered to be worth $17 billion due to the mass of treasure found inside. In 1708, a British ship sank the San Jose as it carried gold from Panama.
Off the coast of New Jersey, archaeologists found two rare locomotives under 90 feet of water. They sank in the 1850s and are perfectly preserved. Mysteriously, no record was found of the trains being built or lost.
Ice Finger of Death
Looking like a tornado, the Ice Finger of Death is actually an underwater icicle traveling down to the ocean’s surface. When it reaches the bottom, it freezes everything it touches, becoming a deadly force.
The Diving Bell Spider
Unlike pretty much every other spider in existence, the Diving Bell Spider lives most of its life underwater. Much like the devices used by humans before scuba gear to dive into the water, the Diving Bell Spider weaves a bubble around its body, trapping air inside, allowing it to breathe for periods at a time underwater.
Discovery of Ancient Roman Pill
Italian scientists discovered a Roman medicinal pill in a 2,000-year-old submerged shipping vessel off the coast of Tuscany. The tin vessels keeping the pills inside were totally sealed, keeping the pills dry. The scientists concluded, based on the ingredients inside the pill, that it was an eye medication.
Elongated Skulls found in Underwater Cave
A flooded sinkhole in Mexico which terrifies the local villagers was recently explored by archaeologists, who found a cavern covered with elongated skulls. The sinkhole resides just outside of the ancient Mayan city of Mayapán.
Ancient Settlement Found in Lake Issyk-Kul
Scientists discovered a 2,500-year-old Saka settlement buried underwater in Lake Issyk-Kul. Legends point to Saint Matthew, the disciple of Jesus, being laid to rest in Issyk-Kul and researchers believe recent artifacts point to the legend being true.
Sunk in April 1912, the Titanic wouldn’t be found until 1985 by former Navy captain and oceanographer Robert Ballard. Finding the ghostly sunken ship was one of the largest finds in archaeological history and revealed more about what might have happened on that fateful day.
The Antikythera Mechanism
In 1901, divers discovered a 2,000-year-old Greek mechanism from the Antikythera shipwreck. For years scientists couldn’t explain what it was used for until x-ray technology helped solve the puzzle. Now, scientists believe it was a sophisticated calendar and computer, mapping the solar and lunar calendars. It also counted down the days until the next Olympic Games. What scientists don’t know is if it was a rare object or common in the ancient world.
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