A team of marine ecologists has stumbled upon a strange shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina that may date back all the way to the American Revolution.
Hundreds of miles off the coast of North Carolina, researchers have discovered debris from a strange shipwreck that could date all the way back to the era of the American Revolution. According to a report from CS Monitor, marine scientists from Duke, North Carolina State University, and the University of Oregon found the wreck on July 12 while aboard the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s research ship Atlantis.
According to Cindy Van Dover, the head researcher on the expedition, the finding is a stark reminder that the deep sea is still full of mysteries. Van Dover led four prior studies starting in 2012 at the same site, which was about a mile below the ocean’s surface.
Scientists aboard the Atlantis discovered an iron chain, a pile of wooden ship timbers, glass bottles, bricks, an unglazed pottery jug, a metal compass, and a navigational instrument that was probably a sextant among the ship’s wreckage.
The marine scientists had been focusing on the ecology surrounding deep-sea methane leaks up and down the East Coast, and were not looking for any sort of shipwrecks on their expeditions.
The debris was found along the Gulf Stream, which sailors have used to navigate between North America, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and South America for hundreds of years. The Carolina coasts are notorious for violent storms that have been known to sink ships, but searching the depths for wrecks is nearly impossible due to the harsh conditions.
The team has not yet identified the ship, but has reported their findings to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Heritage Program.