HOLY GRAIL OF SHIPWRECKS FOUND OFF COLUMBIA COAST, WORTH BILLIONS
Do you remember the movie, Into the Blue? Sure, you do. Young people with perfect bodies, set in paradise and lots of tension. And treasure! Billions in treasure. Well, Billions in treasure just became a reality. And we mean real, found treasure. In the year 1708 British ships sank a galleon flying Spanish colors called the San José. The San José was full of gold, silver and emeralds. Experts believe that the lost Spanish treasure is worth billions of dollars. Billions, plural. Not sure how many exactly. But the world just learned that this holy grail of shipwrecks was discovered back in 2015. The wreck lies underwater off the Columbia coast near Cartagena.
SPANISH GALLEON LOADED SAN JOSÉ DISCOVERED, LOADED WITH GOLD, SILVER AND EMERALDS
This find makes any treasure movie you’ve ever seen small in comparison. But there is still mystery as to what will happen with the wreck and treasure. Everyone wants a piece. The search efforts were spearheaded by Maritime Archaeology Consultants with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists. They used an autonomous underwater vehicle named REMUS 6000. If you’re not a geek but that still seems familiar it’s because the REMUS was what helped find the wreckage of Air France 447 off the Brazilian coast. It was what mapped and took pictures of the Titanic in 2010. REMUS gets around and gets it done. No word about Romulus. Anyway.
SHIPWRECK FOUND THREE YEARS AGO, BUT KEP SECRET DUE TO COURT BATTLE OVER TREASURE
So we can all learn a lot of history from this wreck. It’s really exciting. But there’s also billions of dollars worth of treasure down there under the water. We’re only learning about the find now because of a lawsuit that kept the find a secret. The Boston Globe reported:
Because of a legal battle between the Colombian government and an American salvage company over the treasure, the institution was not authorized to reveal its involvement in the discovery until Monday.
FOUND BY REMUS, THE SAME AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE THAT FOUND TITANIC
REMUS took some amazing pictures which the institution released. You can see the scattered cannons in one. Another shows teacups all over the ocean floor. The 13-foot, 26-inch long REMUS also snapped photos which helped identify the galleon. The bronze cannons are unique, as are the dolphin engravings. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution released a statement which included, “The San José discovery carries considerable cultural and historical significance for the Colombian government and people because of the ship’s treasure of cultural and historical artifacts and the clues they may provide about Europe’s economic, social, and political climate in the early 18th century.”
LEGAL BATTLE MAY CONTINUE FOR SOME TIME, KEEPING THE TREASURE UNDER WATER
But this legal battle may go on for some time. Well, legal battles. Several countries want their piece of this holy grail of shipwrecks, as do several private companies as well. Just a few weeks ago, UNESCO exhorted Columbia to not commercially exploit the amazing, historic find. So this story isn’t sexy, yet. But once we are able to see more of the amazing details it will get even more exciting. Think gorgeous ship design. But also think piles of gold, silver and emeralds! It will be exciting to finally see this amazing discovery. So let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long to see this come up from under the Columbia Coast. It’s better than any movie.