All my life I have been something of an explorer, and now that I have years of experience under my belt as a diver, my next big mission is to find a sunken treasure, preferably in the form of pirate’s gold. People may think this the stuff of fairytales, but every year loads of sunken treasures are found buried deep in the sea from hundreds of years ago. So now you can see why it is currently on my bucket list as I know there is plenty of truth to these stories and one day, I hope to find out in person.
If you have ever visited the Caribbean islands, then you are well aware of the folklore and stories of treasure that cover their seas. I have personally heard stories of Spanish gold, pirates, sunken ships, and old maps that have caused many current explorers to use them and explore further. According to some reports, there are maybe as many as 4,000 ships that sunk in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic Ocean.
Most of these shipwrecks occurred between the 16th and 19th centuries. And since the Spanish kept excellent accounts of which ships went back and forth between the Atlantic and the Caribbean, what we know today is that there are still vast amounts of sunken treasure still lurking in the waters. The only question these days is how much and where exactly are they located?
During this time, when most ships went down, they were torn by coral reefs that lie just beneath the surface of the water. When these ships went down because of war, many times they carried treasures or historical artifacts, which would be invaluable today. Of course, over time, tides and the shifting of sand has caused these treasures to be relocated over hundreds of years. Not so many years ago, a woman was walking on the beach and found nearly $100,000 in silver, platinum, gold, and diamond jewelry, and it was all discovered less than six inches below the surface. With that incredible story out there, I have made a list of destinations that should be sought out and scavenged to see what turns up.
This country has one of the world’s largest reefs near it and there are plenty of shipwrecked pirate ships lying deep below that are just waiting to be explored. According to locals, there is probably a gold mine at the bottom of the waters just waiting to be discovered. You can also try areas that are just outside the actual reef to look for sea treasures.
British Virgin Islands
Ever since Robert Louis Stevenson allegedly wrote his book on these islands, the local lore still speaks of hidden treasures off the coast of Norman Island and Tortola, which was claimed by pirates for quite a while. You can also check out the Anegada Channel, which was home to over 130 wrecks throughout the last few centuries.
Shipwrecks in the 18th century meant that these islands have been exposed to more than a fair share of treasures lying underneath. The British merchant ships from centuries before left behind a bounty of treasures that are just waiting to be discovered.
I love to follow history and research the past because there is so much to learn and it is all very exciting. For instance, the amount of treasures that have been rediscovered throughout the world is astounding and proof of the true spirit of adventure that humans had even before we had all of the technology we can boast of today.
Yet even today, archaeologists will be the first ones to tell you that finding some of these buried treasures requires just as much luck as precision. In fact, many of the most lucrative finds have been my non-professionals who happened upon them by accident.
Here are some of the more impressive discoveries were priceless relics were unearthed.
September 1940, and four teenagers from France are roaming the forests when they happen upon a hole. The foursome travel down a shaft made of stone only to find walls with over 2,000 ancient engravings and paintings. In the beginning, the four teenagers agreed to check the grotto themselves and keep it a secret, but later told one of their school teachers, who called upon an expert in caves to investigate further and verify its authenticity.
Not too long afterward, word of the discovery spread and traveled throughout the world, and Lascaux cave ended up holding an exceptionally diverse collection of abstract symbols and animal drawings. Later, the cave was estimated to be between 15,000 to 17,000 years old. It is now considered to be one of the sites used by Upper Paleolithic people. This goes so much further than the dive packages we have in the current world today, as we more or less know what we are going to get once we go on an adventure.
The Xian TerraCotta Army
A contingent of Chinese farmers came across quite a discovery in 1974, when they uncovered the tomb holding the Qin’s dynasty’s first emperor. After archeologists begun excavating the area, they found some 8,000 terracotta soldiers, chariots, and horses. It is now considered one of the most impressive and pertinent treasures to be found in China.
The Venus de Milo
Now it is considered one of the most famous sculptures in all of history, but for many centuries, the Venus de Milo statue was buried beneath rubble on Melos, a Greek island. But in 1820, it was discovered by a peasant who accidentally found it while trying to save marble slabs from a pile of ruins. The French ambassador sent word to the Ottoman Empire and it was presented formally to King Louis XVIII and later given to the Louvre.
It is thought to be a statue representing Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. But still, to this day, no one is absolutely certain why the arms are missing. Sometimes, even when we get enough clues, there never seem to be the answers to all of the questions, which is part of the reason why discovering these amazing artifacts by accident is all the more impressive.