Finnish divers made an unexpected discovery as they explored the depths of the Baltic Sea, finding an incredibly well-preserved wreck dating back almost 400 years.
Volunteer divers on the nonprofit Badewanne team most often come across shipwrecked 20th century shipwrecks sunk during naval battles of WWI and WWII, then discover what appears to be a largely intact 17th century Dutch merchant ship it was a big surprise.
The ship, an example of a Dutch ‘fluit’ (o fluyt), was found near the mouth of the Gulf of Finland, in the easternmost waters of the Baltic.
At a depth of around 85 meters (around 280 feet), Badewanne̵
Showing only minor damage from subsequent pelagic trawling with fishing nets, the vessel is otherwise frozen in a 17th-century kind of stasis, the team says, thanks to the properties of the water in this part of the sea – where a combination of low levels of salinity, temperature and light can allow sunken wrecks to survive virtually unchanged for hundreds of years.
In warmer waters, wood-boring organisms thrive and can cause untold damage to relics like this one, but here the Baltic chemistry and the unknown nature of the canal’s sinking have left us a notable relic for further investigation.
The ship’s holds are also full, the divers say, still carrying its stash of supplies and freight since Dutch merchant ships largely dominated maritime trade in this part of the world, thanks in part to the pioneering advances demonstrated by the fluit itself. .
These ships, which in their first iterations emerged in the 16th century, sacrificed everything for their most important cargo. Unlike other boats of the time designed to transition from service as cargo ships to warships, the three-masted fluit had an economical and capacious design completely intended to maximize cargo capacity.
Because of this, she could carry up to double the cargo of rival ships, and advanced rigging systems ensured that her skillful navigation capabilities could be controlled by small crews, which also made the fluit a more profitable vessel to operate.
Despite the success and popularity of the design between the 16th and 18th centuries, relatively few influences have survived. Further investigation of this particular find could reveal interesting facts about these historical treasures.
“The wreck reveals many of the characteristics of the fluit, but also some unique features, not least the construction of the stern,” says maritime archaeologist Niklas Eriksson of the University of Stockholm in Sweden, who will work with Finnish authorities and others to study the discovery.
“It could be that this is a prime example of the project. The wreck thus offers a unique opportunity to study the development of a type of ship that has sailed around the world and became the tool that laid the foundations for modern globalization. “.
This article was originally published by ScienceAlert. Read the original article Here.