The ocean makes up the bulk of the Earth's surface and is as vast as it is deep. Astonishingly, 80% of it has yet to be explored. Some of the strangest things found at the bottom of the ocean have recently been uncovered thanks to technological advancements. Scientists are diving down to new depths and making their way through uncharted waters. More and more mysterious relics are being discovered every day.
Some of the most fascinating objects found on the ocean floor include pieces of shipwrecks (including valuables from the Titanic), highly advanced tools from ancient civilizations, underwater tombs of long-forgotten ancestors, and mythical lost cities. However, much to the chagrin of conspiracy theorists, Atlantis has yet to be located.
While the ocean remains an undeniably creepy place to explore, many daring adventurers have answered the challenge and made epic deep dives. They are contributing to the ongoing search by locating some of these totally weird things found in the ocean.
Nic Flemming discovered the Greek city of Pavlopetri in 1967. The site dates back to around 5,000 years, making it the oldest settlement ever found underwater. In 2009, the Pavlopetri Underwater Archeology Project launched a massive expedition to map the waterlogged city. During its excavations, the team uncovered ceramics, tombs, roads, courtyards, and building foundations. Many speculate Pavlopetri served as the inspiration for Atlantis, and scientists are still scratching their heads about what caused this city to sink.
The Antikythera mechanism sat in the ocean for 2,000 years until pieces of the bronze contraption were discovered in 1900. The parts, which were X-rayed in the 1970s, were widely dismissed by historians until 2006. More detailed CT scans of the fragments revealed a multitude of ancient Greek inscriptions, and scientists now believe the machine was used to chart astronomical events across the solar system. However, author Erich von Däniken has made the controversial claim that the machine is a piece of ancient alien technology.
Because the Antikythera mechanism was created around the second century BCE, this phenomenally advanced device can be considered humanity's first "computer."
The wreckage of the San José, a Spanish galleon, was found in 2015 off the coast of Colombia. The ill-fated ship sunk in 1708, along with 600 passengers doomed for an ocean burial. A fight over ownership rights quickly ensued after the discovery that the ship's cargo contained up to $17 billion in treasure. An American salvage company argued it found the wreck in 1981, long before Colombia laid claim. A Colombian court found that all of the ship's contents are the property of the Colombian government, however. The country has launched a salvage operation but has run into several legal questions that have slowed the underwater treasure hunt.
When Apollo 11 launched in 1969, the spacecraft’s five F-1 booster engines detached and sank into the sea. They were forgotten about for decades until Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos entered the picture in 2012. He privately financed the secret F-1 Engine Recovery expedition in hopes of finding pieces from this historic mission. Using deep-sea sonar equipment, his team was able to locate hundreds of Apollo 11 engine components resting 14,000 feet below the surface. You can see these NASA artifacts for yourself by visiting the Museum of Flight in Seattle.