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500-Year-Old Merchant Ship Found In Pristine Condition In Baltic Sea

Marine archaeologists have found a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea that could be at least 500 years old, yet due to the unique properties of that body of water is in near-pristine condition.

The ship rests at nearly 394 feet/120 meters below the surface, and archaeologists used an underwater remotely operated vehicle to explore and study the vessel.

Oxygen is really low in that particular part of the Baltic, which is what helped preserve the ship. The aft portion of the vessel is partially destroyed, meaning it could have been sunk during one of the wars of the 1500s.

While the ship is a Northern European design, it’s still similar to the vessels used by Christopher Columbus during his 1492 expedition to the Americas.

Archaeologist Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz is leading the study of the ship. Pacheco-Ruiz works for MMT, a Swedish offshore survey company. Other organizations involved in the study include the University of Southampton in England and Sweden’s Sodertorn University.

(Photo credit: Deep Sea Productions/MMT)

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.