200-Year-Old Shipwreck Found in Gulf of Mexico
Posted: May 17, 2012 | By: Stephanie Pappas [MSNBC.com]A newly discovered shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico may have originally gone down 200 years ago. The ship is full of glass bottles, ceramic plates and boxes of muskets.
The shipwreck was discovered 200 miles (321 kilometers) off the Gulf Coast in more than 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) of water by a Gulf of Mexico mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The wooden hull of the ship has nearly disintegrated, but a greenish copper shell that once protected the ship's wood remains behind.
"Artifacts in and around the wreck and the hull's copper sheathing may date the vessel to the early to mid-19th century," Jack Irion, a maritime archaeologist with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), said in a statement.
The first hint of the shipwreck came in 2011, when a sonar survey by Shell Oil Company turned up an unknown blip on the seafloor. BOEM requested that NOAA explore such unknown blips during a recent expedition by the ship Okeanos Explorer. The ship returned April 29 from its 56-day mission exploring unknown areas of the Gulf.
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