We know so little about the ocean, yet we continue to explore its depths. Across the seabed are more shipwrecks than we can count. Underwater shipwrecks are perplexing, and so few of them are identified. With the existence of ocean trenches exceeding depths of 10,000 feet, it's no wonder that we've discovered a small number of shipwrecks and know very little about them. The deepest known trench on Earth is the Mariana Trench, which is located in the Pacific Ocean and is approximately 36,070 feet (6.83 miles) deep. Those who find the right shipwreck could become famous. One of the most sought-after ships is the Merchant Royal. Historians suggest that the treasure aboard the Merchant Royal is made up of gold, silver, and bullion worth hundreds of millions of dollars; possibly more than $1 billion.
According to the website of livescience.com, "the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated that as much as 95 percent of the world's oceans and 99 percent of the ocean floor are unexplored." These staggering statistics give us a sense of how little we know about shipwrecks at the bottom of the ocean as well. Estimates put the number of wrecks in the ocean at more than 3 million. We've found less than 1 percent of the world's shipwrecks. The images below are of shipwrecks we've discovered. These are 25 strange underwater images of sunken ships.
25 200-Year-Old Shipwreck Discovered In Gulf Of Mexico
Considering the ship has aged for more than 200 years underwater, it is in relatively good condition. Ships begin to deteriorate almost immediately after falling to the ocean floor. Marine experts attempt to locate and study vessels, but what makes finding them even more difficult is that they disappear fairly quickly. Alongside the remnants of this shipwreck, which is found in the Gulf of Mexico, are items that were aboard the ship such as muskets, cannons, clothing, and swords. Researchers were taken aback when they found out the age of the vessel. Its extraordinary condition is perplexing.
24 Isle Royale National Park Shipwreck
The significant changes that boats experience soon after sinking can make them unrecognizable upon discovery. For obvious reasons, many shipwrecks' identities are a mystery. From reading old journals of voyages, researchers can figure out what shipwreck has been discovered. Rust on, what looks like, the ship's anchor winch can make the ship virtually unrecognizable. Erosion is another factor that makes ships' identities a conundrum.
According to the website of nps.gov, "Divers on shipwrecks can become lost in a maze of confined passages or entangled in debris, wire, and line. Darkness and silt found within wrecks can reduce visibility to zero. We recommend proper training and equipment for diving the wrecks found within the cold and often deep waters of Lake Superior."
23 How Does This Ship Not Tip Over?
This strange photo depicts a ship that is strongly leaning on its right side. How the ship remains upright and doesn't tip over is perplexing. An off-kilter balanced could be caused by uneven weight distribution from cargo. Regardless, even with cargo, it seems like the ship should fall over. If the vessel is resting against a rock or struck the seabed with force and is nestled in the sand this could be possible. The vessel shows signs of deterioration, so it's odd that erosion and decay haven't caused the vessel to capsize by now. The ship must be haunted because this photo is too weird.
22 Shipwreck (What's Left Of It)
What can be said of this pile of rubble lying on the seafloor? What used to be a ship is now a decaying mess. It is great to preserve shipwreck sites so that research can be done and people can see historical sites. However, sooner or later, an overabundance of shipwrecks on the seafloor will become an encumbrance. Hopefully, teams arrive at the place to do a cleanup. There are plenty of shipwrecks, and other forms of human waste, that has fallen to the seafloor. Do we need to hire sea janitors? Something about this wreck sitting on the bottom of the ocean doesn't seem right.
21 Exploring The Titanic At The Bottom Of The Atlantic Ocean
Naturally, as the most famous shipwreck in history, we had to include more than one photo of the RMS Titanic. The ship was thought to be "unsinkable," but after hitting an iceberg, the passenger cruise ship known as the RMS Titanic shattered all assumptions.
OceanGate is planning submersible trips for 2019, which will be available to the public. The Titanic won't be around for long, so you may as well see it while you can. The price of an OceanGate visit will be costly, but worth it for a chance to see what is the most impactful shipwreck of our time.
20 Sunken Igara 45 Years Later
Forty-five years later, the Sunken Igara sits on the seabed of the South China Sea. At the time the Sunken Igara's sinking, it was considered to be the most substantial loss of a maritime. The Sunken Igara caused losses of approximately $25 million. Since the Sunken Igara sank to the seafloor, it has become covered in corals, making it a worthy destination for divers who would like to visit Anambas. The picture above appears to capture the wheel of the Sunken Igara. You'd have to be an expert diver to recognize whatever lies beneath this pile of sea mess.
19 Shipwreck Or Underwater Flower Pot?
Perhaps it is the angle of the picture that makes it seem so strange. With the combination of aging ship parts and the presence of sea plants obstructing the view, it is difficult to see what we are looking at. Is it a flower bed or a seabed? It couldn't be a sunken ship.
Luckily, this ship sank in an area with a thriving marine ecosystem. Had it fallen elsewhere, this photo would have been less impressive. Beware, thriving plant ecosystems could indicate nearby fish, and maybe jellyfish or electric eels. Be sure to bring a GoPro camera, which is waterproof, to capture photos of your favorite terrestrial flowering plants such as sea anemones.
18 RMS Titanic's Engines
These two engines are of the RMS Titanic, a luxury British passenger ship that sunk in 1912 in the North Atlantic Ocean. When the Titanic set sail for New York City, it was considered the largest passenger ship ever built.
The Titanic's engines that are now rusted would have begun rusting shortly after it sunk over a century ago. It is expected that soon, the RMS Titanic will disappear from the seabed due to erosion and decay. According to the website of geek.com, "Current estimates predict that by 2030 we will see a total deterioration of the vessel."
17 Life Thrives In A Sunken Ship
Even on steel and aluminum, somehow sea plants can grow. The number of sea plants contained in this room of the ship must have been surprising for all who made the discovery. Coral reefs are part of an underwater ecosystem that was not intended to grow on boats. The long-term effects associated with coral reefs that grow inside a ship can't be right.
With fish and sea plants present, this alluring wreck is a great place to see for any diver. It may be a positive idea, however, to see it from the outside. You never know when a shark or giant squid could be hiding behind a corner.
16 Rouse Simmons Shipwreck On Lake Michigan's Seafloor
The Rouse Simmons Shipwreck is a famous shipwreck that is visited by many divers. The ship is also referred to as "The Christmas Tree Ship." It's a shame that the ship had to sink since it was such as a beloved vessel. One can find various books about the Rouse Simmons if they want to see more information.
According to the website of superiortrips.com, "The three-masted schooner Rouse Simmons (official number 110087) was built in 1868 in Milwaukee at the Allen, McClelland & Co. shipyard. She was 124 ft long and 27 ft in beam with a depth of 10 ft."
15 1935 Shipwreck In The Aegean Sea
During 2016, 23 shipwrecks were found in the Aegean Sea in 22 days. It's well-known that wrecks tend to occur in some regions of the ocean more than others. The intensity of waves and other factors can cause the sinking of a ship. With so many shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea, we have to admire the bravery of ship captains and crewman who cross the area routinely
It's strange how we've already visited other planets, as well as the Moon, but we've hardly seen any of the ocean's floor. Shipwrecks are often found, so who knows how many could be lying at the bottom of the sea.
14 Tug Boat Lost In Extreme Tropical Storm Of 1965
This ship was lost in a tropical storm of 1965. Considering the boat has been sitting at the bottom of the sea for only about 53 years, there is a significant amount of damage to the vessel. Even at first glance, we can tell that the boat didn't recently sink. The boat may have had a wooden floor when it was constructed. We can only imagine what the paint would have looked like. It appears as if the top of the ship has collapsed. What was once a stairway has been crushed into a walkway. It's a strange photo of a tugboat that was lost in a tropical storm.
13 400-Year-Old Ship Found In Portugal
Portugal contains a lot of old ships that have sunk to the seafloor. An extraordinary find was made in 2018. At over 400 years of age, the ship has mostly disappeared, and only certain parts of the boat remain. According to theguardian.com, "The wreck of the still-unidentified vessel was found at the beginning of September by a team of experts surveying an area of sea around the fishing port of Cascais, about 15 miles west of Lisbon."
Many ships such as the remnants of one captured in this photo are left unidentified due to the vastness of the sea. The researchers who discovered this site found at least one bronze cannon and fragments of Chinese porcelain.
12 Shipwreck In The Deep Blue Sea
Judging by the lack of light and dark blue color of the water, we can tell that this ship sunk down very deep. Deep sea divers risk their lives to explore underwater shipwrecks. It's a high-risk job, but the payoff could also be a high reward.
Items found in shipwrecks can be valuable. The SS Republic Shipwreck is an example of a ship that contained a rare find. The ship carried more than $400,000 in gold coins. In today's money, those coins could be worth more than $180 million. The boat in the photo above is not the SS Republic, but it is called the Republic and is a luxury ocean liner. The Republic sank in 1909.
11 Straits Of Mackinac
The most popular shipwreck to visit in Chicago has to be the ones found in the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve. One can fish for salmon at the Straits Of Mackinac, which is another reason why it is a popular destination for fisherman and divers alike. Novice and experienced divers will enjoy this shipwreck location.
According to mentalfloss.com, "Chicago is relatively shallow compared to the rest of the lake,” Gentile says. “The shipwrecks down here tend to get flattened by the effect of the waves. The artificial shipwrecks were sunk to give divers something more to explore, and it works well for fishermen too.”
10 Shipwreck of Sweepstakes In Big Tub Harbor
Probably the last place you would expect to find a shipwreck is about 100 meters from your home. The people who live next to this shipwreck are either enthralled by the site or are disgusted that someone hasn't removed the ship by now. In addition to the contribution of water pollution, a vessel such as the one above could be dangerous for locals. Kids who decide to swim near the boat could be injured. At least the boat is in fair condition. Diving is only permitted during certain hours of the day, but surely this is a strange ship.
9 Sunken Japanese Super-Submarine
Although often called a "boat" and a "vessel," submarines are not referred to as "ships." Regardless, this photo of a sunken Japanese super-submarine is pretty awesome. After more than half a century of this submarine lying on the ocean floor, it seemed like all hope of finding it was lost.
As detailed by huffingtonpost.com in 2013, "Researchers at the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have discovered a missing WWII-era Japanese mega-submarine under more than 2,300 feet of water off the southwest coast of Oahu." Usually, submarines locate objects in the ocean with radar, but in this case, it was the submarine that vanished.
8 Underwater Anchor Along The Seabed
Cruise ships can have anchors weighing over a ton. The Maersk Triple E-class container ship is one of the largest ships in the world that has an anchor with links weighing over 500 pounds each! Each link on the anchor's chain is about the size of a human being but much, much heavier. If ships didn't have anchors, there's a chance that the boat would float instead of falling to the seabed after springing a leak. In most cases, ships fall to the seafloor after being filled with water. Contrary to popular belief, even stainless steel anchors can rust in the water.
7 Ship Handrail (What's Left Of It)
It's a bit eerie to see this ship, which once sailed the sea. Not much is known about its origin, but the strangeness of the picture makes it deserve a spot on this list. It is odd that the lower handrail stayed intact when the top fell off. We can only imagine the story behind the sinking of this ship. Did the boat collide with the seabed on its side, damaging its handrails? It's also possible the bar fell off over time. It would take tremendous force to remove the ship's bars. It's a strange sight indeed, and the ship deserves some recognition for its disturbing nature and eeriness.
6 Umbria Shipwreck Bow
According to the website of cassiopeiasafari.com, "In May, 1940 the Umbria was loaded with various war-like commodities and ammunition such as 60 boxes of detonators and other stores totalling 8,600 tons in preparation for the forthcoming Italian war effort and destined for troops already stationed in Italy’s East African colonies." Now, people can visit the wreck of the Umbria, which is missing its wooden deck. Like most shipwrecks, the Umbria has extensive damage, but probably the bridge of the Umbria is the most damaged section. Two anchors of Umbria can be found at the shipwreck site.
5 Exploring The Inside Of A Shipwreck (Extremely Dangerous)
Being a deep-sea diver is one of the most dangerous jobs and leisure activities in the world. The act requires spontaneous thinking and peak fitness. What the diver is doing in the above photo should not be attempted by novice divers. There's no telling when part of the ship could give and collapse on top of a person. This ship is very old, and the low light tells us that this diver should exit this space pretty quickly. Regardless of the lighting, exploring shipwrecks deep underwater is a perilous venture. Despite the dangers, divers continue to put themselves at risk.
4 LASALLE Shipwreck
The murky water makes this ship difficult to see, but through the ick is a ship that is in remarkably good condition. When the LASALLE shipwreck was active, it would transport 22,000 bushels of wheat from Chicago to Buffalo. As stated by wisconsinshipwrecks.org, "Great detail and planning was put into the design of the schooner with reference to strength, size, and speed. LaSalle was described as having one deck, three masts, a plain head, and square stern. She was built with angle-iron deck knees to provide greater strength than was typically given to vessels of her description." Because Captain Parker was unable to drop anchor in time, the vessel struck bottom resulting in the ship filling with water.
3 Wisconsin Shipwreck
This shipwreck possibly named the "Foreigner," lies in the waters of Wisconsin. It seems like a strange photo judging by how the ship landed perfectly upright. Instead of collapsing to either side, it remains vertical; the anchor is in fair condition. At least 37 shipwrecks in Wisconsin are under protection by Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary. The ship has already received significant damage, but it would be a shame to see someone tamper with a historical site. This ship could be more than a century old, and not everyone has got a chance to see it.
2 Covered In Corals
The number of barnacles and bunches of coral on this ship tells us that it has aged quite a bit. The exterior of the vessel is rusting, and sea creatures are exploring the site. Marine wildlife may not be able to distinguish a shipwreck from the rest of the seabed. Ships that sink and plummet to the bottom of the ocean negatively affect the marine ecosystem. Routinely cleaning the ocean floor of shipwrecks will ensure our oceans stay clean and the Earth remains healthy. Sea creatures deserve the utmost respect. How would you like it if someone dumped garbage by your home?
1 Sunken Ship From The Little Mermaid
You may notice that the above photo doesn't capture a real shipwreck, but is instead, a screencap from The Little Mermaid. The photo is surprisingly the strangest of a shipwreck on this list. The ship was supposed to have treasure and contains a skeleton, but that's not the weirdest part of it.
The Sunken Treasure Ship from The Little Mermaid is strange because of its positioning on a rock and strikingly excellent condition. There's no way a ship could balance on a rock like that without tipping over, and the wood on its deck and behind would be rotten. It is an animated movie, sure, but the details are inaccurate.
Source: news.com.au, cbsnews.com, nps.gov, sanctuaries.noaa.gov, twentytwowords.com, diver.sg, cassiopeiasafari.com, popularmechanics.com, superiortrips.com, physicalgeography.net, thedailybeast.com