But dozens of wrecks remain on the ocean floor, waiting to be rediscovered.
Here are some of the world’s most notoriously elusive shipwrecks, and some you can see for yourself (and some without getting wet).
Santa Maria, Haiti
Anyway, here’s a theory. The Italian explorer’s ship met its fate, however, and excitement boiled over in May 2014 when archaeologist Barry Clifford claimed he had stumbled across its long-lost wreck.
The Santa Maria is still down there somewhere.
Sumatra Sea Flower
A replica of the Flor de la Mar stands in front of the Maritime Museum in Malacca, Malaysia.
Perhaps it was only a matter of time before the Flor de la Mar collapsed, in 1511 in a storm near the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Most of the crew were killed, and the spoils—supposedly including the entire personal fortune of a Portuguese governor worth $2.6 billion in today’s money—was lost.
SS Waratah, Durban (South Africa)
It may not have a theme song sung by Celine Dion, but SS Waratah has been called “Australia’s Titanic” – and for good reason.
The Waratah, a passenger and cargo ship sailing between Europe and Australia with a stopover in Africa, disappeared shortly after setting sail from what is now Durban, South Africa, in 1909 – just three years before the tragedy of the Titanic . As for why, theories abound.
The entire ship, including the eight staterooms, the music lounge and all 211 passengers and crew, has never been found. Ninety years after the Waratah sank, the National Underwater and Marine Service thought they had finally found it, but it was a false alarm.
The late thriller author Clive Keesler said he spent most of his life searching for the wreck, and “I imagine she will continue to be elusive for a while.”
USS Indianapolis, Philippine Sea
Rotten Tomatoes’ “Tomatometer” score might have been as high as 17% for the 2016 Nicolas Cage film “USS Indianapolis: Spirit,” but in real life, the ship played an endgame role in World War II. The character of the game.
The unloading of the deadly cargo went well, but on the return voyage, the USS Indianapolis was attacked by a Japanese submarine and many of the crew died from shark attacks and salt poisoning.
slave ship, north atlantic
A man takes pictures of a pulley block, one of several artifacts salvaged from sunken San Jose.
Roger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images
Not just one shipwreck, but a whole host of terrifying shipwreck types.
It is estimated that some 1,000 ships currently on the ocean floor were involved in the sinister “Triangle Trade” across the Atlantic Ocean, in which some 12-13 million Africans were forced into slavery.
Others, such as the Clotilda, were deliberately scuttled by their owners to conceal evidence of the slave trade long after the 1807 Act prohibiting the importation of slaves.
It would be impossible to retrieve these items without unearthing the stories of human suffering, although the DWP aims to document the sinister legacy of slavery, using it to educate and inspire.
But such ships are notoriously elusive, and many may never see the light of day.
shipwrecks you can visit
Ulu Brun, Bodrum
In 1982, Mehmed Çakir was diving for sponges off the coast of Yalıkavak, Turkey, when he came across the wreck of a merchant ship that sank here some 3,000 years ago.
Stunningly intact, the 17th-century battleship Vasa looks more like a prop from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series than the ship that first (and last) set sail in 1628.
The Swedish behemoth was about 1,300 meters out of port before sinking and was pulled from its silt grave some 333 years later.
Since opening a dedicated museum in Stockholm in 1990, the Vasa has become one of the world’s most elusive shipwrecks, winking at it from some 25 million visitors to date.
MV Captayannis, River Clyde
Spotted from the banks of the River Clyde in Greenock, Scotland, you might mistake the wreck of MV Captayannis for a recently deceased whale.
The black hull of this Greek sugar ship, on its side, is a favorite roost for the feathered residents of the nearby bird sanctuary — and it has been since the ship sank in a storm in January 1974.
No one is said to be responsible for the so-called “sugar boat”, which is why it is still wedged into the sandbar – a reminder of the fickleness of the sea.
Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia
If scuba diving is your thing, chances are you’ve heard of Chuuk Lagoon.
On this stretch of island, 1,000 miles northeast of Papua New Guinea, the Japanese built their most powerful World War II naval base—that is, until Operation Hailstone in 1944, when the Allies sent some 60 Japanese ships and planes Go to the water grave.
MS World Discoverer, Solomon Islands
“Open 24 hours” indicates that Google Maps is optimistic about the MS World Discoverer shipwreck.
The cruise ship MS World Discoverer has been a tourist attraction for passing ships since it hit heavy objects in Roderick Bay in the Solomon Islands in 2000 and was half-sunk (it should be noted that all passengers were rescued to safety).
Lightly rusted, on a 46-degree bank, the boat looks like it rolled over and fell asleep. If nothing else, it will let you count the lifeboats on your own ship while sailing.