8 Incredible Sunken Treasures Discovered

Scattered across the ocean floor, there are more than 300 million shipwrecks, containing billions of dollars worth of cargo. These are some of the best treasures that have been found.

8. Ancient bronze coins

Italian archaeologists retrieved 3,422 ancient bronze coins off the small Sicilian island of Pantelleria. The coins have been dated between 264 and 241 BC.

Amazingly, all coins feature the same iconography on both sides, which means they were probably used as institutional payment.

7. Amphoras for food

About 2,000 years ago, a Roman ship sank on a trade route between Spain and central Italy with a cargo that included more than 200 intact amphora. The jars had once contained pickled fish, grain and oil.

6. Gold and silver coins

The Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes sank off of Portugal’s coast in 1804 during the Battle of Cape Santa Maria.

The treasure was recovered by an American firm called Odyssey Marine Exploration. Spain won a lawsuit, claiming ownership of all the treasure.

More than 500,000 silver and gold coins were found in the galleon.

After the treasure has been catalogued, it will be displayed in Spain’s National Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Cartagena.

5. Wine jugs

A Roman shipwreck was discovered off the coast of Albania that was full of wine jars from the 1st century B.C.

Most of the jars were well preserved. Unfortunately, they were empty, since their stoppers had disolved.

4. Rare Vietnamesse ceramics

A ship discovered in 1983 off of the coast of Vietnam was contained a cargo of ceramics from the 15th century.

In 1996, excavation of the site began. It took four years and cost an estimated $14 million. Over 250,000 intact Vietnamese ceramics were recovered.

Most of the cargo was retained by Vietnam’s museums. In 2000, some items were sold by Butterfields auction house in San Francisco.

3. Platinum

In February 2012, a Maine treasure hunter announced he had discovered a World War II era shipwreck filled with platinum, said to be worth 3 billion dollars. It has not yet been recovered.

2. So much bling

After searching for 16 years, the Nuestra Señora de Atocha was finally discovered in July 1985 off the coast of Florida.

In 2011, an emerald ring believed to be part of the bounty was discovered and valued at $500,000.

1. Captain Morgan’s cannons

In 2010, six cannons were found off the coast of Panama belonging to Captain Morgan, originally famous for being a privateer—an old fashioned term for a private gun. As you know, he is now famous for being a rum icon.

In 2011, a 17th century wooden shipwreck believed to be one of the five ships Morgan lost in 1671 was discovered.

With the help of the Captain Morgan rum brand, historic artifacts from the wreck were excavated.

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