It is said that there are an estimated 3 million shipwrecks worldwide and they are helpful because some of these wrecks preserve a great amount of historical information. Other interest in shipwrecks are primarily because of their potential harm to the environment. Contemporary wrecks are scuttled in order to spur reef growth.
Turkey is a country that hosts many natural wonders and tourist attractions — most lakes in the country are freshwater lakes but in eastern Turkey lies the biggest salt-water lake in the country.
Little did people know what secrets actually lay in the depths of these waters.
This lake spans an area of 3755 square kilometers and is one of the worlds most saline bodies of water. The lake’s high salinity content prevents it from freezing, but also allows only a few species to live there.
For over a century it was believed that a monster lived in the lake and people were even frightened by these rumors and avoided the waters like the plague. Some people had even claimed to have seen the monster in the water. So what would happen here?
Archaeologists found this story thrilling and the daredevils decided to investigate, diving down into the 1500ft deep water to find out what all the fuss was about. Curiosity led underwater photographer, Tahsin Ceylan, into the water to capture everything mysterious in the hollows. One of the divers in the water saw a shadow just meters away, and intriguingly enough and despite the tales of these waters, the team decided to get closer. That’s when they realized what it was, and they could not believe their eyes.
It wasn’t exactly a scary sea monster or some strange lake creature, but they had stumbled across something perhaps even more exciting. A castle! Caylan and the other divers descended further into the depths of the water to find out more. There were symbols of lions that archaeologists believed dated back to the middle ages, while others thought they were from the Iron age.
The community couldn’t exactly agree on the era the castle dated back to. The ruins, however, looked to be well preserved by the water and in good condition. Unfortunately for the divers and the community, these findings would have to undergo further research before any conclusion was met as to the era of the castle.
But nevertheless, it was an incredible find and an astonishing revelation for the people who lived nearby. At the same time, another big discovery was also made.
In the Atlantic Ocean, passing divers at Cape Cod off the coast of Massachusetts found something hundreds of years old. This discovery surprised historians as well as archaeologists at the time.
The ship Whydah Gally was found. It had disappeared hundreds of years back in 1717. But what exactly caused this ship to go down?
The ship had encountered one of the most violent storms ever recorded off the coast at the time, and that’s what caused it to sink. Unfortunately, 40 sailors would have been aboard the ship at the time of its sinking. This ship housed incredible significance and historical value.
So, what exactly was this ship built for? And what was the significance of the find?
The ship was originally built as a passenger, cargo and slave trade ship. It was, however, hijacked by a group of pirates that would alter its fate and destination in history forever.
The pirate captain of this ship would treat his crew members equally and nobody was subjected to the harsh conditions of a slave. But what about the people whose ships were captured by this particular group of bandits?
This captain was well known for his mercy and generosity, which was also shown towards those he captured on his raids. The pirate captain was only 28 years old at the time of his death in 1717. His known career as a pirate captain lasted only a little more than a year, however, during that short amount of time this captain and his crew would capture at least 53 ships. This was an incredible number of ships at the time.
This young man clearly knew exactly what he was doing.
The ship was captained by a very important person at the time — the infamous Black Sam Bellamy, who was otherwise known as “Robin Hood of the Sea.” Some historians valued his piracy at almost $120 million, making him one of the wealthiest pirates in history.
Would the wreck of a 1717 ship still hold all its treasures? Or would these have been carried across the ocean bed by currents, and storms, never to be seen again?
In the month of April 1717, Black Sam Bellamy’s voyage came to an unsuspecting end when a thunderstorm drew up a massive 30-foot wave of water and capsized the ship.
Captain Sam, his crew, and all their treasures sank to the bottom of the ocean — where no-one would find them for millennia.
Amazingly, centuries later and with the amazing advancements in modern technology, the wreckage was finally located and an investigation was ready to take place.
There were so many questions as to what the ship actually contained. Maybe there were still treasures to be discovered at the site of wreckage.
A very ornate pistol that was wrapped in a ribbon was found, indicating that it probably belonged to Bellamy himself. Barry Clifford, who found the wreckage told the Associated Press that he found a large metallic mass that he was convinced represents most of the treasure. So, when exactly did they stumble upon in the shipwreck? And what was the Whydah Gally keeping hidden all these years?
The Whydah Gally was discovered in 1982 by a crew of treasure seekers and underwater explorers. The exhibition was led by Barry Clifford, who’s an archaeological explorer and best known for this find. Barry would unearth and hold the collection intact.
Unbelievably, he did not sell a single piece of the more than 200,000 recovered artifacts. I bet you are itching to know what was down in the ship and recently brought to the surface.
Well, the artifacts and treasures included tens of thousands of coins, more than 60 cannons, and of course the everyday objects used by the crew. That is, of course, if the 400,000 coins were all the riches believed to be contained on the Whydah Gally. So, what else was found that was significant to Black Sam Bellamy?
A treasure trove that was valued at more than anything they had ever seen or found before. It’s certainly an incredibly large hoard of coins. And there was the archaeological significance unearthed near the wreckage too…
In 2016, another diving mission would bring new information to the team. Some divers had come across some very interesting remains. They were clean washed bones, correctly assumed to he the human bones of the sailors.
Archaeologists were brought in and DNA testing was done on the remains. These tests would determine for once or for all whether the bones belonged to Bellamy or not.
And the results were 100% clear. It was a massive breakthrough.
It was a tremendous discovery that the bones belonged to the sailors of the era. This helped give more information about the typical sailor of the time. The new information gave new insights into facts like what they wore and how they fought. Although the Whydah still remains a mystery, there were many treasures found and a lot of geographical information discovered.