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When English researchers from the University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology were mapping ancient underwater landscapes in the Black Sea, they found something incredible.
The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project was created to perform geophysical surveys on the sea bed to shed light on why water levels rose so fast after the Ice Age, as this information may help us deal with similar situations caused by climate change.
However, their Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) accidentally came across an eerie graveyard of ghost ships in a Black Sea “dead zone.”
The ROVs had been scanning a dead zone 1,800 meters below the surface when their cameras picked up 40 ghost ships. They are believed to be from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, which were founded in 330 C.E. and 1299 C.E., respectively.
Researchers were able to capture these amazing (and slightly unsettling) images with the 3-D recording technology built into one of the ROVs, all while leaving the sea bed and ships undisturbed.
“They are astonishingly preserved due to the anoxic conditions (absence of oxygen) of the Black Sea below 150 metres,” said project investigator Jon Adams.
Adams hopes their 3-D recording technique will lead to more maritime archeology practices that aim to leave ancient shipwrecks intact instead of moving them to the surface and ruining them. He also plans to study the area more thoroughly in the near future.
The sea really is full of mysteries, isn’t it? I can’t even imagine what else lies on the ocean floor. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of these cool photos soon.