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Shipwreck discovered off Louisiana's coast

3 years ago May 18, 2012 May 18, 2012 Friday, May 18 2012 Friday, May 18, 2012 4:55:04 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Stephanie Ryan

METAIRIE - There is buried treasure off the coast of Louisiana, but the scientists who explored it will not say exactly where it is: they do not want to risk anyone trying to loot the sunken ship, though it would be very difficult to do so.

Scientists with the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management said an oil company surveying for places to drill found the 85-foot-long ship sunken 4,000 feet below the surface of the water, 200 feet off the coast of Louisiana.  The discovery was in late April, at first just a blip on a map.

"The first thing we see is this green glow of the copper sheathing," Jack Irion with BOEM told News 2.  That is when he knew the ship had to be at least 200 years old.  Copper was used back then because it kept sea creatures away from the ship because it poisoned them.

"This was the age of Napoleon," Irion said.  In the video released by NOAA and BOEM, you can see canons lying on the ocean floor.  But despite the near-constant battles and skirmishes requiring all ships to carry their own defense, Irion believes this ship may have sunk because of a hurricane.  It is still almost completely intact.

But what Irion and other scientists want to know may have to wait.  Because it is so costly to recover items from the ship-- millions of dollars-- we may not know for years who was aboard the ship, or where they were going.  The muskets, bottles, ceramic plates, anchors and more may remain on the ocean floor.

Still, Irion believes it is important to unearth these relics.

"It really tells the unwritten part of history.  History is more than just memorizing dates and names of presidents and kinds," Irion said.  "It's really what people were doing with their lives 200 years ago."

To see the entire high definition video for yourself, click here.

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