Scientists were amazed after making the discovery, and they estimate that this ship could be hundreds of years old.
Marine scientists from Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of Oregon have stumbled upon a shipwreck hundreds of miles off the coast of North Carolina.
The wreck was found in very deep waters on July 12 during a research expedition aboard the research ship Atlantic, which belongs to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), according to a Christian Science Monitor report.
Expedition leader Cindy Van Dover from Duke called it an “exciting find” in a statement. Van Dover had been on four previous expeditions to the same site, which is about a mile below the surface, but only just now have they spotted the wreckage. She estimates they could have been within 100 meters of the wreck at some point and not known it was there.
The researchers spotted several interesting artifacts: an iron chain, ship timbers, glass bottles, a pottery jug, a compass and navigational instrument, and other items.
The scientists actually weren’t there to look for wrecked ships, instead they were focused on deep-sea methane seeps along the East Coast. But, as this case illustrates, you never know what you’ll find in the deep ocean, Van Dover noted.
The wreck appears to sit in the Gulf Stream, which was used in the past as a sort of highway to North American ports and ports in the Caribbean and South America. It wasn’t uncommon for violent storms to wreck vessels, but they are rarely located because of the extreme depths.
Archaeologists will take a closer look at the images and videos the team took of the wreck in hopes of learning more about the ship’s story and what the ship was used for: as a merchant ship, or as a warship. They estimate it was probably sailing around the 1700s, perhaps the time of the American Revolution.