Diving Treasures: The 7 Biggest Finds
Diving discoveries and buried treasure are sure ways to get someone’s ears to perk up out of curiosity. Treasure hunting is always fun, regardless of what age you are, and some people make a living out of doing so. Some people spend most, if not all of their time hunting down treasure, and commonly find that they end up finding nothing but old boots or scrap metal. However, others who are simply having fun with a metal detector have dug up artefacts worth millions of pounds. I guess it’s both blind luck and knowing where to look!
So, today we’ll be looking at some of the most fascinating treasure finds underwater.
Frigate Mercedes – Atlantic Ocean
A sunken ship full of nearly 600,000 gold and silver coins was found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean by a private treasure hunting company called Odyssey Marine. A priceless hoard of gold coins and hand-crafted golds chains were found inside the ship, which was called the Frigate Mercedes and became the centre of controversy when Spain claimed ownership over the gold. A legal battle ensued between Spain and Odyssey marine and lasted half a decade before the Spanish government prevailed. In 2015, Spain finally flew their 17-tonnes of priceless coins across the Atlantic.
Israeli Coin Hoard
Amateur divers were exploring an old sunken dock off the coast of Israel when they discovered 2,000 gold coins hidden in the seabed. The centuries old currency was miraculously unharmed by age or water damage! There is no current estimated monitory value of the coins, but they are considered extremely rare and valuable to historians. Even at the time of their minting in 900 A.D, they were considered a royal some of money.
Coin Hoard – Florida
Back in 2015, 60 rare gold artefacts were found in shipwreck in Florida. The ship was sailing from Cuba to Spain in 1715 and was meant to deliver a large payload of gold to the Spanish King Philip the Fifth. Though, it was destroyed in a hurricane off the coast of Florida. Professional scuba divers only had to dive 15ft to find the hoard, which is now valued at over £1 million pounds.
The Coral Reef Tomb – Australia
Back in 2008-2009, a group of archaeologists started excavating an old coral reef in the Pacific Ocean, only to discover an ancient 3,000-year old cemetery. The skeletons belonged to the people of Vanuatu, a nation consisting of 83 islands, located 1750km off the coast of Australia the way people were buried was definitely different in contrast to today’s burials. In fact, the burial process was very concerning, apparently, people were not so fond of their relatives, since some of them had their legs and arms broken just so they could fit into the reef’s cavities. In addition, they were left to rot first and then buried, and as for the skulls, they were proudly displayed in their relative’s homes! Our diving trips are just as interesting, though not with the inclusion of deceased bodies lying on the reef beds!
Lost silver from WW2
In 1941, the SS Gairsoppa, a British merchant ship, set sail from Calcutta with a precious cargo of 2.800 silver bars, meant to boost Britain’s war chest. After battling through a storm, the ship was forced to head to Galway harbour, which was then sunk by a German U-boat just 300 miles of the coast of Ireland. The SS Gairsoppa was found 70 years later in 2010 by a US marine company called Odyssey, it took 5 them years and a remotely operated submarine to recover 48 tonnes of silver goods from the shipwreck, making it the largest recovery of precious metal in maritime history. The silver is worth almost £60 million.
Galleon San Jose
The Spanish galleon sunk in a battle during June 1708. It was carrying precious stones of silver and gold from south American countries that the Spanish had colonised to finance a war against the British empire. It is known as the most valuable shipwreck in maritime history, it is estimated to be worth of £1 billion pounds. It was discovered over 300 years later close to the city of Cartagena, Columbia, and is known to the deep-sea divers as the Holy Grail of shipwrecks.
Lost Egyptian City of Heracleion
The city of Heracleion flourished from the 6th to the 4th century BC. The city sank in the Mediterranean Sea, somewhere around the 8th century AD leaving no trail or evidence. For centuries, people though that the city was nothing more than a legend or myth, though, thankfully, the city was discovered in 2000 submerged under 30ft of water in the bay of Aboukir. Since its discovery, scientists have discovered thousands of small and giant statues, 64 ships, stones inscribed in ancient Egyptian and limestone sarcophagi. Parts of the city have been excavated, giving us a glimpse into its history and wealth during the time.
So, what did you think of my list? We’d love to hear of any treasures of incredible finds you’ve stumbled across during your diving adventures! If you’re still looking for that deep sea diving experience, why not head over to our tour section and have a peak at what’s in store for you?