The ocean has long been a source of fear and a wonder for humans. Centuries ago people were brave enough to cross the ocean not knowing what was waiting for them on the other side, or what kind of creatures make the water their home. Even though we have better technology and more knowledge of the ocean presently, it still holds a lot of secrets and people continue to explore it. Even after exploring the ocean for as long as human civilization has, we have only really gotten to know about 5% of it! It is a totally different and alien world, and the secrets it holds in its deepest depths remain out of our reach for now. Diving is a favorite past time of the brave and adventurous people because there is still so much to find in the ocean, not only the naturally occurring things like underwater rivers but things left behind from history. It gives us insight into how civilizations from hundreds of years ago lived, and sometimes the things found leave us with more questions than answers. This list includes entire ancient cities, mysterious objects that some belief could be evidence that we have been visited by alien life forms, and amazing artifacts like the worlds first computer. If the ocean scares you, replace that fear of the unknown with curiosity because we have so much left to discover and learn, and no one is forcing you to dive into it and explore! Here are 15 amazing things discovered on the ocean floor.
16 Tank And Masks - Haunting Reminder Of The War
The Nippo Maru can be found in Truk Lagoon, Micronesia, and is quite an astonishing site for divers. As seen in the image above, here lies a medium size freighter with some amazing items still resting on its deck. Among the items can be found, a military tank, which sits on the port side of the ship. This ship was only discovered in June 1980 by Klaus Lindemann, amazing considering she was bombed, and later sank on February 16th 1945. The The Nippo Maru rests at 160 feet, and remains one of the most beautiful shipwrecks, some even call it "the million dollar wreck. ”
The gas masks pictured above are among the items found on The Nippo Maru, these two seem to have been perched on the front of the ship, perfectly preserving them for divers from all over to see.
15 Ancient Computer
If you think computers are a modern invention, think again. A clock like device that is being billed as an ancient computer was found off the coast of the island Antikythera in Greece. The device has been named the Antikythera mechanism and it is estimated to be around 2,000 years old. Researchers believe it was used to calculate the movement of stars and planets. The device retains a lot of mystery though, and it’s full use is still not known. It is made up of 30 gears within a wooden frame which is decorated with 2,000 characters which researchers have not yet been able to understand. Even though the device was used by ancient Greeks, it was found in the remains of a Roman ship. Researchers and explorers are looking forward to going back to the wreck in order to understand more about the device, and perhaps even find out how it ended up in Roman hands.
14 Trucks at the bottom of the Larnaca Bay
At the bottom of Larnaca Bay, Cyprus, is where you can find these trucks along with the ship that carried them. The two large vehicles pictured above are among the 120 that went down with the ship, MS Zenobia. It was during her maiden voyage, in June 1980 that the ship sadly sank. For those interested in visiting this wreck, she can be spotted resting at about 42m. It is amazing how different items can look after decades of laying on the ocean floor, in this case three decades. Do we find these items so captivating because of how eerie they look in pictures, or it is the history attached to them that we want to know more about?
13 Baltic Sea Anomaly
In 2011 a group of Swedish divers were exploring the Baltic Sea looking for a shipwreck but they came across something so much more interesting that has stumped experts. They found a circular rock formation that is 200 ft in diameter resting a top of a pillar. It was found 300 ft deep in the sea. A big debate has sprung up about what the Baltic Sea Anomaly is. Some geologists believe that it is a naturally occurring rock formation, while others are convinced that it is in fact a UFO which crashed into the ocean. Experts believe that it was made tens of thousands of years ago before the Ice Age. While there are many different schools of thought on what the object it is still unclear what it truly is.
12 Ancient Phoenician Vessel
Divers off the coast of Malta, 400 ft below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea found a vessel estimated to be around 3,000 years old. It is 50 ft long and when it sunk, the seabed cushioned its descent so the vessel and all the cargo it carried have been pretty well preserved. The relics found among the wreck include lava grinding stones and large ceramic jugs that were used to hold wine. The relics indicate that the wreck could be from as far back as 700 B.C. which would mean this is the oldest shipwreck found in the Mediterranean Sea. It is believed to have belonged to the Ancient Phoenicians and was a trading vessel. The Phoenicians were known to be great ship builders who were great merchants constantly crossing the sea. Unfortunately, even great shipbuilding cannot withstand the sea and its whims and this trading vessel met a watery demise as did everyone on board.
11 Airplane Graveyard
Off the Marshall Islands, divers discovered a graveyard of WW 2 warplanes. The way these planes went down is not a dramatic war story filled with violence and death. These airplanes were just tossed into the water by U.S. forces when they left the Marshall Islands at the end of WW 2. Among the planes in the ‘airplane graveyard’ there is a B-25 Mitchell, The Gruman TBF Avenger which was a torpedo bomber, the Curtis SB2v Helldiver, and the Curtis C-46 Commando which is also known as the ‘Curtis Calamity.’ For anyone that loves WW2 history, this would be a great place to take a dive. If one wants to apply emotions to inanimate objects, this is a bit of a sad dive site because most of these planes were used in WW2 and then they were just tossed off aircraft carries into the ocean when they were no longer needed.
10 Ghost Fleet of Chuuk Lagoon
1, 800 km north east of the island New Guinea in the center of the Pacific Ocean lies a famous diving site called ‘The Ghost Fleet of Chuuk Lagoon.’ In WW 2 the Japanese Imperial Army used this as the site for their naval fleet. When the American’s became aware of the base, they attacked and ended up sinking 12 warships, 32 merchant ships, and 249 aircrafts, which was a devastating blow to Japan. More than half a century after World War 2 and these ships and planes have become a part of the marine life in that part of the ocean. The wrecks cover a massive amount of area and divers all over the world come to explore it, and see if they can uncover anything new. Because of the ‘Ghost Fleets’ shear size, there is a lot left to still explore.
9 Train Graveyard
As you have probably realized by now, a lot of human made things end up in the ocean. While in the moment it is usually tragedy that causes it, it also gives us insight into history. Off the coast of New Jersey lies a train graveyard. In 1985 one Paul Hepler was attempting to map the ocean floor, but 90 ft below the surface he came across the final resting place for this train. The trains date back from the 1850’s and the model is one that was only around for a very short period of time, the Planet Class 2-2-2 T model. This model was much smaller than other trains being built at that time. For comparison, the Planet Class 2-2-2 T model weighed around 15 while its counterparts weighed around 35 tons.
8 Ancient Kingdom of Cleopatra
Queen Cleopatra has continued to captivate the world hundreds of years after her rule. She was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, and while we know that she did really exist, the city where she rule from Heracleion was lost for a very long time. Historians believe that it had been destroyed and sunk by a devastating earthquake and the resulting tidal waves. After 1,600 years it has been found off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. Divers began to explore the ancient city in 1998. Among the 20,000 artifacts that have been discovered in the ancient city are the foundations of palaces, statues of the Goddess Isis, a Sphinx, a huge statue that is believed to be of Cleopatra and Julius Caesars son, Caesarion. And of course, lots and lots of shipwrecks that used to make up her royal fleet.
7 The Yonaguni Monument
The Yonaguni Monument is most similar to the Baltic Sea Anomaly on this list. While most of the discoveries on this list have been easy to identity this one remains a mystery. Off the coast of Yonaguni Island in Japan this mysterious rock formation was discovered in 1987 it continues to mystify experts. Like the Baltic Sea Anomaly, there is a school of thought that believes it is simply a natural rock formation. Certain characteristics of it though point to it being man made, or at the least made by something that is not the ocean. Characterized by two pillars, an L shaped rock, sharp right angles point to it being man made. Some researchers believe they have also uncovered animals and faces drawn into the rocks. Maybe one day divers will unlock the mystery of the Yonaguni Monument and the Baltic Sea Anomaly but until then we only have speculation. Which is fun in and of itself, who doesn’t love some mystery?
6 The Black Sea River
Finally, a diving discovery that is totally naturally occurring but still fascinating none the less. This might hurt your brain, but divers discovered an underwater river in Black Sea that is complete with its own trees lining the river. Discovered in 2010, it is the first time an underwater river has been found. The water in the river has a higher saline content then the surrounding sea water and it flows on the bottom of the Black Sea. The below surface river has everything you would find in an above surface one. It has riverbeds, flood plains, rapids, and waterfalls. The river runs for 60 kilometers and believed up to be 35 miles deep.
5 RMS Titanic
Objects from the infamous Titanic ship wreck continue to be found by divers – including a violin! Who can forget the heartbreaking scene where the musicians stayed on the boat and played while they were going down. It was probably their violin that was found. The Titanic is one of the most famous shipwrecks of all time, probably because it happened just over a 100 years ago in April 1912 and is one of the largest of all time. 1,200 people went down with the ship and everything else that was on board. The wreck is located in the North Atlantic Ocean and besides the ship itself, there are human remains and all kinds of personal belongings laying on the ocean floor. Parts of the titanic rest on some of the lowest parts of the ocean floor. Making so much more interesting to see.
4 City of Pavlopetri
In 1967 the ancient city of Pavlopetri was discovered off the coast of Laconia, Greece. It is believed to the most ancient city ever discovered, as evidenced by the late Neolithic pottery found within it. The location is very remote so the city has been almost perfectly preserved. It covers a radius of 100,00 square kilometers only half of which has been mapped so far by researchers. Dr. Flemming who is a marine geo-archaeologist was the one who discovered it. He had this to say about it ‘The discovery of Neolithic pottery is incredible! It means that we are looking at a port city which may be 5000-6000 years old, with trade goods and wrecks nearby showing some of the very earliest days of seafaring trade in the Mediterranean.’ Some believe that this could be the remains of the lost city of Atlantis.
3 Sunken Pyramid
A massive sunken pyramid was discovered between the islands of Terceria and Sao Miguel in Portugal. What we know about it so far is that it is estimated to have been underwater for around 20,000 years which means it existed at the same time of the last ice age. The height of the pyramid is around 60 meters and the width of its base is around 8000 square meters. The tip of the huge pyramid is about 40 feet below the surface. While the structure is almost a perfect pyramid, experts are still uncertain if it is truly man made.
The location of the pyramid has not been released and the Portuguese navy patrols the area in order to main the structures integrity. Nearby lies Pico Island which is believed to have housed a civilization that lived thousands of years ago, and they may be the ones responsible for this structure.
2 Remains of the Ancient Continent Gondwana
Deep in the Indian Ocean lie massive pieces of rock that are called micro-continents. They are the remains of the continent of Gondwana. The face of the earth did not look anything like it does today when Gondwana was still a continent, thousands of years ago. It bridged India, Australia, and Antarctica together they separated. Researchers found what they call micro-continents and the way they knew that these once made up land above the surface is because of the rock that made up the samples they were able to pull up. Usually basalt rock makes up rocks in the sea, but these rocks were made of granite, gneiss, and sandstone. All characteristics found on above surface land. As India separated from Australia these pieces of land broke up and went down.
1 The North American Stonehenge
Last but not least, this discovery was not made in the ocean but in one of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes are so huge they might as well be an ocean so we are going to allow this entry. In 2007, 40 feet below the surface a structure that is remarkably similar to the infamous Stonehenge in the UK was discovered in Lake Michigan. It was discovered by Professor Mark Holley who described the site as “It was really spooky when we saw it in the water. The whole site is spooky, in a way. When you’re swimming through a long line of stones and the rest of the lake bed is featureless, it’s just spooky.” The structure is shrouded in mystery, and one of the most interesting aspects of it is a large boulder that appears to have an engraving of a Mastodon, a massive animal similar to current day elephants that lived 11,000 years ago. Experts believe that the structure is an artifact from the Grand Traverse Bay Native Indians, but whatever it is has still not been fully confirmed.