Special Report

25 of the Most Famous Shipwrecks Ever Found

Whydah Galley
> Found: Cape Cod coast
> Sunk: 1717

A slave ship built in 1715, the Whydah Galley was captured by the pirate “Black Sam” Belamy during its maiden voyage, shortly after it left Jamaica. Two years later a storm around Wellfleet, Massachusetts, sank the ship, killing all but two of its crew. The ship’s remains were discovered in 1984, along with over 200,000 artifacts and treasure worth $400 million.

Roman transport ship
> Found: Albanian coast
> Sunk: 1st century B.C.

A Roman vessel containing 300 wine jars was located off the Albanian coast in 2011 by a joint U.S.-Albanian archeological mission. The nearly 100-foot-long wreck is thought to have been carrying wine from southern Albanian vineyards. The wine vessels, known as amphorae, were found remarkably intact, but unfortunately their stoppers had long since disintegrated, allowing the wine to leak into the sea.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

USS Juneau
> Found: Solomon Islands
> Sunk: 1942

During the WWII Battle of Guadalcanal, the USS Juneau was sunk by a Japanese torpedo off the Solomon Islands, taking 687 people with it. Among the dead were the Sullivan Brothers – five brothers from Iowa who fought together in the war. The Juneau was discovered in 2018 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen using his research vessel, the Petrel.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Two Brothers
> Found: 600 miles north of Hawaii
> Sunk: 1800’s

Captain George Pollard – whose ship the Essex was sunk by a whale in 1820, inspiring the novel “Moby Diсk” – lost another whaling ship to a storm west of Hawaii in 1823. Pollard and his crew escaped from the Two Brothers as it went down and boarded their consort whaleship, Martha. The shipwreck was discovered 600 miles northwest of Honolulu in 2008. Whaling artifacts such as harpoon tips, anchors, and a blubber hook have been retrieved from the site and the surrounding waters.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Found: Guadalcanal
> Sunk: 1942

Discovered in January of 2019, the 31,000-ton Hiei was the first Japanese battleship to be sunk by the U.S. during WWII. One of many discoveries made by researchers aboard the late Paul Allen’s R/V Petrel, the Hiei was found upside-down and split in two off the coast of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

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