Well-preserved shipwreck explored in Gulf's coast

Associated Press | AP Photo: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
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Bow of sunken ship in Gulf

Researchers led by a team from Texas State University in San Marcos are investigating a ship 4,363 feet down in the Gulf of Mexico. See gallery

Marine archaeologists are excited about the discovery of what may be a well-preserved 200-year-old shipwreck more than three-quarters of a mile below the Gulf of Mexico.

The remains, some 170 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, are "tantalizing," researchers say, because of the degree of preservation. Undersea images show an outline of an 84-foot-long, 26-foot-wide wood-hulled and copper-clad sailing vessel, possibly with two masts.

 

In this photo: Oxidized copper hull sheathing and possible draft marks are visible on the bow of a wrecked ship in the Gulf of Mexico about 170 miles from Galveston. Researchers have been able to recover some items, including liquor bottles and an octant, a navigational tool. Other items spotted among the wreckage are muskets, swords, cannons and clothing. 

AP Photo: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
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'Little Hercules' explores sunken ship

The Little Hercules remotely operated vehicle and an anchor inside the hull of the copper-sheathed shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico about 170 miles off Galveston, Texas.

AP Photo: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
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Anemone on top of a musket in sunken ship

An anemone lives on top of a musket that lies across other muskets on the shipwreck.

AP Photo: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
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Plates, platters, bowls and more

Artifacts found inside the shipwreck's hull include ceramic plates, platters and bowls, and glass liquor, wine, medicine and food storage bottles of many shapes and colors.

AP Photo: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
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Underwater “rivers” and ponds discovered during sunken ship expedition

The location of a well preserved shipwreck is seen about 200 miles off the coast of Louisiana, at a depth around 4,000 feet, in the Gulf of Mexico. Underwater “rivers” and ponds of liquid brine were discovered during the expedition. When enough pressure is applied to buried salt by overlying seafloor sediments, the salt flows up near the seafloor where it mixes with seawater and dissolves into brine, which is then brought to the seafloor by buoyant gas and oil.

AP Photo: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
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Cast iron stove from 200-year-old ship

A cast-iron stove was among the artifacts found on the shipwreck.

AP Photo: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
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Sunken ship discovered on steep undersea cliff

A map produced by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer's sonar shows the West Florida Escarpment, a steep undersea cliff. The base of the escarpment, 8,500 feet deep, is shown in blue with the upper rim more than1,900 feet above. Remotely operated vehicle dives explored the physical structure of the seafloor and biodiversity on soft and hard bottom areas.

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