United Nations has recorded approximately 3 million shipwrecks that lie on the ocean floor. Some of them were victims of aberrant weather conditions, devastating combat wounds, or craftsmanship of poor quality. While there are lots of shipwrecks that are yet to be discovered, there are gorgeously deteriorate remnants that have been spotted and photographed. Let’s go down deep and and explore fifteen of the world’s most hauntingly beautiful wrecks.
The Mars (1564)
The Mars is a Swedish warship that was wrecked along with its crew in 1564 during a naval battle against the Germans on the Baltic Sea. This is one of Europe’s first generation three-masted ships that has been preserved well throughout the years.
The RMS Rhone (1867)
The UK Royal Mail ship was used to carry mail, passengers, horses, and other cargoes between Southampton, the Caribbean, and South America but was drowned by a strong hurricane in the British Virgin Islands along with its 123 passengers on board.
The Baltic Sea Ghost Ship (17th Century)
This Ghost Ship was accidentally discovered in 2003 during a search for a Swedish spy plane that shut down during the Cold War. In 2010, it became a subject of interest of a full-scale underwater archaeological expedition where it was determined that the ship was likely built by the Dutch in 1650.
The Paul Palmer (1913)
Built in 1902, this five-masted schooner was used primarily in the coal trade. In 1913, it sailed from Maine to Virginia to pick some load, caught fire for unknown reasons, and sank. It was only discovered in 2000 when environmental researchers caught sight of it during an expedition. It has since been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
SS Thistlegorm (1941)
This British armed merchant naval ship was loaded with war supplies and train locomotives and was navigating its way to Egypt when two German bombers attacked it, mistaking it for a troop carrier. It was only discovered more than a decade later when Jacques Cousteau began searching the area.
The Joni (4th Century)
This ancient wreck in the Adriatic is known for its cargo of predominantly amphora pottery. The cargo found on the vessel is enough evidence to trace it back to ancient trade routes of the Romans.
Shinkoku Maru (1942)
This 500-foot fleet oiler was launched by the Japanese Navy in 1939. It was best known for its role in Pearl Harbor as part of Admiral Nagumo‘s strike force. While docked at Truk Lagoon, the vessel was torpedoed by an American submarine. It is one of the world’s most popular wreck diving destinations.
SS Gairsoppa (1941)
The 400-foot Gairsoppa was built as a merchant ship in 1919. It was enlisted to serve in World War II, which is when it met its end at the hands of a German U-boat in Ireland. It wad discovered in 2011 and shortly thereafter a mission to recover its precious cargo worth £150 million worth of silver bullion followed.
The Umbria (1940)
This huge German-built cargo ship was taken over by the Italians while en route to the East African coast with its mother lode of bombs, detonator, and other weapons. Some say that it was intentionally ordered to be sunk by Mussolini a day after he announced Italy was entering World War II.
The Sweepstakes (1885)
The Canadian Sweepstakes schooner was towed to safety in Big Tub Harbour after it was upended off Lake Huron’s Cove Island. Sadly, the schooner couldn’t be repaired and sunk right there in the shallow water.
Dunnottar Castle (19th Century)
When it was discovered ten years ago, researchers concluded that this 258-foot iron-hulled cargo ship was built in 1874. It met its demise en route from Australia to California when it collided with a reef off the coast of Hawaii. The ship was said to be sailing at full speed and with a load of coal.
The Russian Wreck
This ship was discovered in the Southern Red Sea in 2003. It was assumed to be a huge fishing boat that went down in the area. Still, other experts believed that it was actually a Cold War era Russian spy ship.
SS President Coolidge (1942)
The Coolidge was originally constructed as a luxury cruise liner in 1931 but was repurposed as a troopship after the Pearl Harbor attack. It was sunk by mines when it made a wrong turn while attempting to dock on the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. Since the incident occurred some safe distance from the part, nearly everyone on board was able to escape safely.
The Giannis D (1983)
The Giannis D was carrying a load of timber between Yugoslavia and Saudi Arabia when it met its end in the open waters of the Red Sea. The ship captain turned the controls over to some junior officers to catch some shuteye when the ship hit a reef at full speed.
The Lina (1914)
This cargo ship used to carry lumber between Croatia and Italy on a regular basis in the early 1900s. But in 1914, the ship was caught up in a rough storm, hit a reef, and went down in the Adriatic near the northern cape of Cres Island. Today, the ship is still intact and has become a popular diving spot.