The wreck had lain undisturbed for centuries. Image Credit: YouTube / Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz
The incredibly well-preserved wreck of a Renaissance vessel has been discovered on the ocean floor.
The existence of the vessel was first hinted at back in 2009 when site-wide sonar scans conducted by the Swedish Maritime Administration revealed the presence of something unusual on the sea floor.
It wasn't until a decade later however, when marine survey company MMT investigated the area ahead of laying a natural gas pipeline, that the full significance of the find was realized.
The ship, which is thought to date back to the 15th or 16th century, was surveyed in detail using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), thus helping researchers to build up a 3D computer model.
Incredibly, the vessel's hull and masts are intact, as are parts of the rigging. It is also possible to see the capstan and bilge pump, as well as some of the swivel guns in their original placements.
It isn't clear however exactly where the vessel originated.
"We know it's the oldest shipwreck in the Baltic," said maritime archaeologist Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz. "There's no other ship in the world of this period like this. We have older ships but they are only timbers or metal - we never have a ship like this with masts and anchors."
"It's game changing because of the period it pertains to. I think it's important to flesh out the collaboration between universities and the commercial sector - in the past it has always been done like treasure hunting crews or people who don't understand cultural heritage."