They discover three “ghost” ships over 300 years old

An archaeological expedition made up of Danish researchers located and filmed three unique and exceptionally well-preserved shipwrecks. The ships are thought to be over 300 years old and largely intact on the seabed.

According reported the West Jutland Maritime War Museum (Denmark), a SIMA ocean-going vessel and advanced technology underwater robots have helped locate shipwrecks hundreds of years old in the Baltic sea.

“I’ve been diving my whole life and looking at hundreds of wrecks, but I’ve never seen anything like it. The ships looked like they were just abandoned.” said Gert Normann Andersen, expedition leader and director of the Sea War Museum Jutland.

Normann Andersen commented that the group, which consisted of 27 expedition members, started with the idea of ​​studying the remains of shipwrecks, as well as other material on the sea floor. However, he pointed out that they did not expect to find these “ghost ships” so well preserved.

Some of the exploration team members.

Thanks to the remote-controlled underwater vehicle, equipped with a state-of-the-art camera, which was submerged up to 150 meters deep, the ships could be filmed and identified. These are located 46.3 kilometers east of the Swedish island of Gotland, beyond the reach of modern fishing boats.

Experts consider two of the vessels found to be merchant galleys from the Netherlands, while the others, the largest of the three, is a Scandinavian ship. It is possible that these ships date from the 18th and 19th centuries, due to the shape of their hulls; explained the researchers.

Part of one of the boats found. Credit: JD-Contractor A/S

How were they kept for so many years at the bottom of the sea?

The environmental conditions at the bottom of the Baltic sea they could be responsible.

As David Gregory, an academic at the National Museum, explained, the excellent condition of the ships is attributed to the acidic conditions of the seabed, where oxygen is scarce. The types of worms and other microorganisms that normally feast on wood simply cannot survive it.

You might also be interested in: The strange phenomenon of “Dead Water” which terrifies ships and sailors.

On the other hand, it is very likely that these vessels continue to be preserved in the place where they were found, since both the Danish Museums Act and the European Convention for the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage stipulate that all finds should preferably remain ‘in situ’. This, because of the high costs involved in its recovery and conservation.

One of the wrecks seen from the port stern. Credit: Sea War Museum Jutland.

Data from the Danish Palace and Culture Agency estimates that there are around 20,000 shipwrecks in Danish waters.

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