The human race has only explored around 5% of the world’s oceans, and to most of us, it’s all about having fun on the surface. We sail on it, we swim on it, we boat share on it, we play on it, but very few of us ever get to explore deep underneath it.
Bearing that in mind, here is a run-down of some of the many fascinating, strange, weird and wonderful sights that lurk beneath the waves, things that, as a fractional boat ownership aficionado, would well and truly blow your mind… plus one or two that we hope you never have to experience at all!
Scary things you don’t want to find at sea
Let’s get the scary parts over with. As a boat sharing syndicate member how would you feel to find a bag containing 54 severed human hands or a long-missing man’s skull? A giant eight inch diameter eyeball probably belonging to a huge squid, or twelve boats washed up in Japan with twenty two dead bodies on board, some headless? A message in a bottle dating back to 1919? Or a specimen of the frighteningly ugly knifenose chimera fish?
How about a mummified body aboard a ghost ship, or a floating disembodied arm? Then there’s the amazing story of the good ship the Ourang Medan, found floating near the Marshall Islands with the entire crew dead, eyes wide open and no visible injuries. Was it down to a toxic cargo? Maybe carbon monoxide poisoning from the engine? Or perhaps, as hinted at by the frozen expressions of horror on the dead sailors’ faces, a sea monster? We’ll never know.
12 amazing, extraordinary, magical things found under the sea
Here are some of the most amazing and much less scary things that have been discovered deep, deep down.
- Dazzling ancient machinery – The ancient Babylonian Antikythera mechanism, found in 1900 and the world’s oldest ever gear mechanism, dates back as far as 205BC. Some believe it’s a super-early analogue computer thanks to its bizarre complexity, others say it predicts the movement of the stars and moon, but the real truth remains a mystery
- The Chuuk Lagoon skeletons – In 1944 the Allies bombed Chuuk Lagoon in the Central Pacific. More than 300 planes and boats were destroyed. In the 1960s divers found many vehicles underwater that still contained skeletons, a grisly parade across the sea floor
- 240 tons of silver – More than 61 tons of silver worth $36 million was dredged up from the Atlantic’s bed, hailing from the SS Gairsoppa, a cargo ship sunk in 1941 by a Nazi torpedo. The rest – a vast fortune – is still waiting under the waves
- Priceless gems – A total of 80 pounds of emeralds were found on the sea floor off Florida, more than ten thousand stunning cut gemstones, origin unknown
- Precious space junk – The engines from the historic Apollo 11 moon mission has been found on the sea bed thanks to funding from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos
- Alien craft? – 2012 saw a Swedish diving team find a weird cylinder-shaped object on the floor of the Baltic Sea, origin and function unknown. It may be a natural rock formation but we have to admit it looks spookily like a crashed alien spacecraft
- Lost cities – The magnificent sunken city of Thonis, called Heracleion by the ancient Greeks, dates back more than a thousand years and was discovered in the year 2000
- Sea monsters – The first official sighting of the legendary giant squid came about in 2001 but it was just a baby. As an adult, it can easily grow as long as forty feet. In 2012 one was finally captured on camera, later amazing the world courtesy of the Discovery Channel
- Incredibly elderly beings – In 2012 scientists found Jurassic microbes in deep seawater. They’d had no food for 86 million years, and barely any oxygen, and that makes them the most bizarre – as well as the oldest – living beings on the planet
- Lost ferries – In 1980 the MS Zenobia ferry went down off Larnaca in Cyprus. It and the vehicles it was carrying are still clearly visible under the water
- Underwater river – The Cenote Angelita Cave in Mexico is only accessible to expert divers. Swim down ninety feet through the water, deep into the cave, to find a river with trees and plants growing along its banks. It’s actually created by a dramatic flow of hydrogen sulphide, which arises when sea and saltwater mix
- Mystery stone circle – In 2003 scientists found a huge round stone structure at the bottom of Israel’s Sea of Galilee. Nobody knows what it is or why it was built
Luckily – or unluckily, depending on your view – boat shares and boat syndicates don’t automatically come with sea monsters, mysterious underwater ruins or long-dead skeletal sailors built-in! But there are many, many extraordinary natural wonders to enjoy: incredible skies, sea spouts, flying fish, and some of the most enthralling destinations on earth. If you’d like to know more about fractional boat ownership, we’d love to talk.