12 Unusual Underwater Discoveries
Subscribe for weekly wacky videos and learn interesting facts about the world with awesome top 10 lists and other amazing videos.
#7 The Non-Extinct “Extinct” Fish, the Coelacanth
This menacing-looking fish has quite a history. Thought to be extinct with the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period, the fish was discovered very much alive in 1938 when a fisherman caught one off the coast of East Africa. Even more shocking was the fact that another species of the Coelacanth was caught in the Indian Ocean by a fisherman and offered up for sale at a fish market in July 1998, letting scientists know that there are more species of this “extinct” fish than previously thought! The fish was 5ft long and weighed 29kg.
#6 The Metal Balls of the Atlantic Ocean
Scientists who were in the Atlantic Ocean to study sea organisms found something a bit more unusual than they expected when their equipment kept getting snagged on something. They unearthed metal balls, known as manganese balls. These balls occur in other oceans, growing at the rate of millimeters over the course a million years by crystallizing around rocks or fossils into a nodule. To see so many on the ocean floor, especially some so round, was quite a shock to researchers, who even put out a press release about the discovery.
#5 The Baltic Sea Anomaly
Scientists have been debating the true nature of a large, mushroom-shaped disc found under the Baltic Sea in June 2011. Sonar images of the object show a stone or granite disc that resembles an ancient Millennium Falcon! The 200 by 25 ft disc could be a Nazi device that was located on the Baltic Sea shipping route that was made of steel and wire mesh designed to block radar detection by British and Russian submarines that used the area during World War II. Explorers have been repeatedly stymied by the Baltic Sea Anomaly because their sonar, radar and even satellite phones stop working when they get within 200 meters of the site. UFOlogists see it differently; they believe the disc is an ancient alien aircraft. Yeah, but how many parsecs would it take to make the Kessel Run?
#4 The Mayan Underworld
The ancient Mayans believed that in order to make it to the afterlife, dead souls needed to traverse watery caves with the help of a blind dog, and that caves are natural portals to other worlds. In 2008, scientists discovered huge underwater caves off the Yucatan Peninsula. The caves are large enough to contain stone temples and pyramids, sculptures, and human remains, mirroring the Maya belief that souls would confront great challenges on the way to the next world. One eerie passage consists of a 300 foot road leading straight to the water. Now scientists must ponder whether the Mayan beliefs were inspired by the existence of the caves, or whether the Maya created the caves as part of their religious practices.
#3 The Yeti Crab
You may have seen a variety of crabs at a visit to the aquarium, but you’ve probably not seen a crab like this. Known as the Yeti Crab, this species was discovered in 2005 in the South Pacific Ocean. The crab’s discovery required scientists to actually create a new genus, Kiwaidae. This crab is special not only because it’s hairy, but also because it has no eyes. It grows its own food and bacteria in its fur and lives in hydrothermal vents.
#2 The Galleon San Jose
Built in 1696, the Spanish ship Galleon San Jose was lost in 1708, after crewmembers were engaged in a sea battle with the English. On November 27, 2015, the wreckage of the ship was found in the Caribbean Sea, along with its treasure. Originally on its way to France, the ship was laden with cargo of gold, silver and emeralds when it sank, and 600 people were reportedly on board when the ship went down. Many of the ship’s personal effects, cannons, and guns are still intact. Before the discovery, historians believed the ship had exploded. The recovered treasure is worth an estimated $3 to $17 billion.
#1 The “Lost” Underwater Forest
You may find a city or ruins, or sunken treasure in the sea, but finding a forest is probably a dream….But for diver Dawn Watson, finding a lost forest went from fantasy to reality. In 2015, Watson discovered an incredible underwater forest off the coast of Norfolk. The trees are estimated to be near 10,000 years, and have been hidden underwater since the Ice Age, only to be uncovered during a storm. The forest was once part of Doggerland, a piece of land that was a bridge between Britain and Europe.