10 STRANGE Things Found In Our Oceans
Considering about 70% of the world is ocean, it's not unusual to think that there's a treasure trove of stuff sitting within it, rusting beneath thousands of pounds of pressure awaiting discovery. It's also not unusual for some of these items to be curious discoveries, items one wouldn't expect to find in the deepest depths.
The Baltic Sea Anomaly
Think you know all there is to know about our deep blue? Think numbers 10 through 2 were unusual finds within the ocean's depths? As always, we've saved the best for last - the Baltic Sea Anomaly, named for the location it was found and, of course, for its unknown purpose. The 200-foot or 60-meter circular rock-like oddity was discovered in 2011 by the "Ocean X" diving team. The structure is said to rest on a pillar and has what looks like a set of stairs leading to the top. The mysterious formation has been labeled as a World War II anti-submarine device, a battleship gun turret, a natural formation, and even a UFO. Complicating the classification of the find is the myriad of scientists throwing their opinion into the ring.
Discovering ancient civilizations and artifacts engulfed by a rising sea level may be weird but finding human remains in our deep blue, well, that can’t be normal, right? And we're not talking skeletal remains discovered on old shipwrecks, either. We mean chopped up and dismembered, stuffed into a suitcase, and thrown into the ocean to cover up some heinous act. The sad thing is that it's not an entirely uncommon scenario, like in June of 2016 when a severed foot and other body parts washed up on the shore near the site of the Rio Summer Olympics a month before the games began, or in July of 2016 when the body parts of a Russian couple washed up on Fiji's Natadola Beach, or when parts were found near a lobster trap in Swampscott, Massachusetts in January of 2015, or… well, you get the point.
The Galilee Structure
Like the Bimini Road, this massive heap at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee in Israel has left scientists scratching their heads. Coming in at 32 feet (10 m) high and 229 feet (70 m) wide, the structure weighs an astonishing 60,000 tons due to the stacks of rocks that it's made out of and is alleged to be from around 3,000 to 2,000 BC. Initial belief when it was uncovered in 2003 was that the massive pile of rocks was some sort of grave marker that became submerged as sea levels rose, but additional theories point to it having been an underwater fish nursery. What makes the region so special is that it is believed to have been a popular spot for Jesus to have delivered sermons.
We're off to see Atlantis, and rumor has it all we have to do is follow the underwater marvel that is Bimini Road! At least, that's one rumor tied to this subaquatic rock formation located off the coast of North Bimini in the Bahamas. The 1/2-mile or .8 kilometer structure, which is comprised of rectangular limestone blocks, was first discovered in 1968 by J. Manson Valentine, Jacques Mayol, and Robert Angove. The wall is a mystery located over 18 feet or 5.5 meters below sea level, though it is widely believed to be a natural formation. Then again, there are those that believe it to be a man-made structure roughly 12 to 19,000 years old, which predates advanced civilizations. While science points to the former, we can't help but want it to be the remnants of an ancient civilization that once used the wall as a protective barrier from the forces of nature - or even worse.
The Antikythera Mechanism
In the year 1900, sponge divers were pulled off course by a hefty storm, forcing them to take shelter in Antikythera, a tiny island in the Mediterranean. Here, the crew decided to go diving, which led to the discovery of a small bronze device of unknown origin. Later dated as early first century B.C., the salvage, which was named the Antikythera Mechanism, proved to be too eroded and delicate for extensive research, so it took decades before the clockwork mechanism comprised of 30 bronze gears was determined to be a look at the first computers. While the device was originally believed to be of Greek origin, later studies determined it may actually be Babylonian in origin. In September of 2016, human remains were pulled from the same wreckage that the mechanism was found in, hopefully opening up further details about the strange device.
Cancun's Sculpture Park
You know what there's not enough of? Creepy statues of people just lingering underwater. Thanks to this sculpture park just off of Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc, that issue has been rectified! The ghostly exhibit, which was helmed by Jaime Gonzalez Cano of the National Marine Park, Roberto Diaz of the Cancun Nautical Association and artist Jason deCaires Taylor, is an underwater showpiece featuring over 500 life-size sculptures. While it looks like an odd burial ground for statues, the exhibit, which makes up the Museo Subacuatico de Arte, a subaquatic museum, is filled with intentional structures, all created from materials meant to withstand prolonged life underwater. The museum is open to the public, but it will require diving gear or scuba equipment to cover the 4,520 sq-ft or about 420 sq-meters that the exhibit occupies.
The concept is strange, but it is true that somewhere beneath the vast waters that cover our planet lies an actual flowing river. Though not accessible for the amateur diver, the subterranean river is located in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Dubbed Cenote Angelita, or Little Angel, flows within a freshwater sinkhole, separated by a thin layer of hydrogen sulfate. Lined with trees and fallen leaves, pictures of the river alone make it nearly impossible to determine that it's located within another body of water. As miraculous as such a formation may seem, it's all a matter of science. The fresh rain water fills the sinkhole, which sits atop salty groundwater. Differing densities of the two bodies of water cause them to layer, creating the incredibly unusual phenomenon.
Jersey Locomotive Graveyard
Off the coast of New Jersey in the United States sits a graveyard that few people likely visit. Reason being, it isn't a resting place for the dearly departed, unless someone has a keen fascination with locomotives and can't bare to see them dispatched. The trains found resting on the coastal floor, 90 feet below sea level, were dated from the 1850s and didn't seem to have a history of ever being built or lost. The mystery behind their submersion remains intact with some experts believing they either fell off of or were deliberately removed from a barge traveling in rough seas. The locomotives, which are a part of the short-lived Planet Class 2-2-2- T models, were initially discovered in 1985 through use of a manometer.
As humans, we seem to be surrounded by two vast unknowns - the universe above us and the deep blue below. Strange, then, that the two would both be involved in an incredible discovery pulled from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. In March of 2013, during an expedition funded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to search for the Apollo 11 remains, parts of two F-1 engines were recovered from the blue depths. Despite possibly being submerged for almost 43 years, the only link to Apollo 11 would need to be found on the engine's serial numbers, which were mostly eroded away. By pure luck, enough of the number remained on one engine, allowing the expedition to accurately identify it as part of the Apollo 11 craft.
For thousands of years that human civilization has spread throughout our blue planet, cities have come and gone. Hidden relics of the past 6 millennia have been discovered all over the world, many of which rest at the bottom of our oceans. What led to the sinking of these once great cities varies, though many of them remain intact enough to be identifiable. Of the many underwater ancient cities to have been discovered in waters connected to the ocean, there is Heracleion in the Abu Qir Bay in Egypt, Port Royal in Jamaica, Baiae, a city in ancient Italy in the Gulf of Naples, and Pavlopetri, that lay off the southern coast of Greece. Despite being millennia old, artifacts of these cities have survived.