Special Report

25 of the Most Famous Shipwrecks Ever Found

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

USS Arizona
> Found: Hawaiian coast
> Sunk: 1941

Originally launched in 1915, the USS Arizona had a long and varied career but is best known as the U.S. battleship bombed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in 1941. The bombing detonated a powder magazine, causing the ship to explode and sink, killing over 1,100 crewmen. The shipwreck remains in Pearl Harbor and is a National Historic Landmark and part of a memorial visited by millions of people every year.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Graf Zeppelin
> Found: Polish coast
> Sunk: 1947

Launched in 1938, the Graf Zeppelin was Nazi Germany’s only aircraft carrier. At the end of WWII, the Soviet Union took control of the ship and used it for target practice. It sank in the Baltic Sea and was discovered in 2006 by a Polish oil company. The Polish Navy then gathered images of the wreck with remote-controlled underwater robots to confirm that the underwater hull, which is irretrievable due to its depth, was actually the Graf Zeppelin.

> Found: Valtaki Beach, Greece
> Grounded: 1980s

Another smuggling ship mysteriously abandoned on the Greek coast, the Dimitrios washed up on Valtaki Beach in 1981 and the rusted hull remains there to this day. Various rumors exist as to how it ended up there, including that it was burned to hide evidence of its use as a smuggling ship, or that it was abandoned at a nearby port and drifted to the beach.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Queen Anne’s Revenge
> Found: North Carolina coast
> Grounded: 1718

Originally a Royal Navy ship, then a French slave ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge was commandeered by the legendary pirate Blackbeard in 1717 and used for less than a year before it ran aground off the coast of North Carolina. Blackbeard escaped the wreck, which went undiscovered until 1996. So far over 30 cannons and 250,000 artifacts have been removed from the wreck.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

HMS Victory
> Found: English Channel
> Sunk: 1744

During a 1744 mission to relieve a convoy of British ships blockaded by the French, the 100-gun Royal Navy ship HMS Victory sank in a storm, taking all of its 1,150 crewmembers down with it. Its exact location remained a mystery and the topic of much debate until the sought-after wreck was finally located in 2008, along with a few of its 100 bronze cannons. Although it was rumored that the ship was also carrying gold, none has been recovered so far.

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