1: Holy Grail Of Shipwrecks
In 1708, a Spanish galleon ship, the San Jose, sank during a battle against the British. As it disappeared into the Caribbean Sea, it took a great treasure to the bottom. A stash of precious metals, jewels, and artifacts made this vessel the holy grail sought by treasure hunters and archaeologists.
In 2015, the wreck, worth up to $17 billion, was found. The discovery was kept secret to confirm the ship’s identity and protect it from looters. Besides the obvious wealth, the artifacts aboard also hold significant historical information about 18th-century life in Europe.
The vessel was detected about 600 meters (2,000 ft) below the surface and was partially buried. A deep-sea vehicle was lowered to film the wreckage, and at one point, it captured footage of cannons. They were an exact match to the San Jose‘s decorated bronze cannons. This conclusively identified the ship, and researchers were allowed to go public in 2018.