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May 13, 2014

Wreck of Columbus' Flagship, the Santa Maria, Found?

The searchers claim they have strong evidence they've found it, but so far it's all indirect, suggestive stuff, rather than something conclusory (like finding a ship's bell with "Santa Maria" engraved on it). But then, so far they've only used sensors (like magnetometers) and cameras to take pictures of the presumed wreck.

The wreck is very old, and, alas, pretty disappointing, if, like me, you were expecting something that looks more like a ship:

SantaMaria.jpg
Scientists are 95% certain that
this is either the second-most famous shipwreck of all time
or a pile of rocks and also some water

The searchers believe that large objects like cannons have already been picked clean from the carcass by previous wreck-raiders, who may not have known they were diving the Santa Maria.

They'll soon start actual excavations. They're working with the government of Haiti -- they've promised to display the recovered wreckage in a museum in Haiti.

The ship sunk after drifting into a reef:

After 37 days [of sailing across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands], Columbus reached the Bahamas but, just over ten weeks later, his flagship, the Santa Maria, with Columbus on board, drifted at night onto a reef off the northern coast of Haiti and had to be abandoned.

Thanks to @doreenhdixon.


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posted by Ace at 02:49 PM

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