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Modern Mysteries

$17B 'holy grail of shipwrecks' discovered

By T.K. Randall
May 22, 2018 · Comment icon 21 comments

The San Jose was sunk by British ships. Image Credit: Samuel Scot / National Maritime Museum
The long-lost 300-year-old Spanish galleon was found with the help of an autonomous underwater vehicle.
Discovered in 2015 off the coast of Colombia by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the wreck had been kept under wraps for the last three years out of respect for the Colombian government.

Known as the San Jose, the 62-gun galleon went down on June 8, 1708 along with 600 members of its crew while engaged in a battle with the British during the War of Spanish Succession.

Incredibly, the wreck is thought to contain a treasure trove which today is worth over $17 billion.
Now new information has been released indicating that the ship, which lies 2,000ft beneath the ocean's surface, was found using an autonomous underwater vehicle known as REMUS 6000.

"The wreck was partially sediment-covered, but with the camera images from the lower altitude missions, we were able to see new details in the wreckage and the resolution was good enough to make out the decorative carving on the cannons," said expedition leader Mike Purcell.

It remains unclear who will end up with the vessel's vast riches however there have already been several tense legal battles over the matter and the precise location of the vessel is still a secret.

UNESCO has since called on Colombia not to exploit the wreck for commercial purposes.

Source: Fox News | Comments (21)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
What's the point of a conquering war if, after the war, all must be returned? In special cases, such as the Nazi's, yes. But this was Way Back in time, where the "victims" of this treasure acquisition were a very brutal peoples. I don't know. Maybe it could be peaceably settled if they just give it to ME, a neutral party.  
Comment icon #13 Posted by skliss 6 years ago
Do the finders get a percentage? Not sure I would give up 17 billion if I spent  a ton of money locating it.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Myles 6 years ago
The Colombian government will keep the vast majority of it.  
Comment icon #15 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
600 member crew...did I read that right? That was a big boat!
Comment icon #16 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
Pallidin, you're forgetting the PC world we live in now.  After a war you give everything back and pay for repairs. It's the only left, I mean correct thing to do.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Gecks 6 years ago
Wouldnt this fall under maritime salvage laws? I thought those who recovered it owned it?
Comment icon #18 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
The location is secret, but I suspect the controversy in part might be because it is sunk in the legal territorial waters of Columbia. If it were in international waters than yes, salvage laws would apply.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Berwen 6 years ago
And now the greed takes over. "Whose gold is this and how do I get some" will be the theme now. Just look at the comments.
Comment icon #20 Posted by RavenHawk 6 years ago
  Geez!  Ultimately, all the peoples that exist today can trace a line back to some "native" group that was eventually wronged.  So why stop at what the Spanish stole.  Let's repatriate all ill-gotten gain back to the original owners.  You’d have to go back to the Stone Age.  I wonder how this will affect civilization over all?  Oh wait!  We wouldn’t have civilization.  We'd be in the Stone Age. Looks like the San Jose went down near the Islas del Rosario (probably between Isla Grande and Isla Baru) in the 1st Battle of Cartagena (Wager’s Action).  Definitely in the coastal wat... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by Gecks 6 years ago
Ahh makes sense... cheers!


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