What are the secrets oceans hide from us?

The ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface. By 2020, humans have only been able to explore about 5% of it. Imagine what might be beyond our reach: depths we haven’t yet encountered, or a lost megalodon from prehistoric times. It’s also possible that the remains of a long-defunct ship or the lost city of Atlantis await us there. Or maybe something dark and dangerous, who knows?

While we wait for experts to investigate the unknown, below are a few riddles to ponder.

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Remains of a 19th-century ship

On May 16, 2019, researchers aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Okeanos Explorer were in the Gulf of Mexico when the remotely operated vehicle they were testing came across the remains of a 200-year-old shipwreck.

A closer look revealed that the ship was made of wood and covered in copper plating, and was supposed to be about 40 meters long. At this point, however, there were more questions than answers. Archaeologists still don’t know where the ship came from, how old it was, what happened to the crew, or even what kind of ship it was.

The only clues found were the numbers on the rudder, 2109, and iron and copper objects scattered nearby. Burnt pieces of wood suggested that the ship may have caught fire before sinking. After the discovery was made public, Frank Cantelas of NOAA expressed hope that other expeditions would be outfitted to solve the mystery.

Secrets of the Black Sea

The Black Sea is both inhospitable and hospitable at the same time, and it is full of strangeness and mystery. Like the Bermuda Triangle, strange creatures, unexplained phenomena, and strange disappearances have been observed in the Black Sea.

In 2000, Robert Ballard announced the discovery of evidence in the Black Sea that a huge number of people had died during the floods caused by the sea. This discovery was related to the biblical flood story as told in the Book of Genesis and naturally caused much controversy.

During the Middle Ages, there were reports of seeing whirlpools in the Black Sea that sucked in ships and islands. These whirlpools supposedly appeared on calm water without any warning. As a result, the fishermen began to avoid such places, considering them cursed.

In December 1945, five Russian bombers disappeared over the Black Sea, and no one has seen them since. In 1990, a Greek plane also disappeared. This led to the theory that there was a magnetic anomaly that caused the electronics to malfunction.

It is said that in 1991 a Russian oil platform broke away from its berth and sailed into the Black Sea. An investigation revealed that all 80 workers were missing. Their abandoned belongings and uneaten food were the only evidence that they had ever been on the platform.

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Namse Bangdzod

On December 27, 2018, the oil tanker Namse Bangdzod with a displacement of 1,950 tons with 11 crew members and the captain on board, departed from Sampit, Central Kalimantan, for Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta. It was expected to arrive the next day. However, all contact with the ship was lost in Ujung Karawang waters on December 28. Data from the ship was last tracked on January 3, 2019.

The National Search and Rescue Agency Basarnas believes the tanker may have been hijacked by pirates. Navy officials disagreed, saying the route the tanker was taking was considered quite safe, where a ransom was not needed. Navy officials also claimed that the ship changed position several times during its journey from Jakarta Bay to the port of Sunda Kelapa, but was not found at any point.

A maritime expert, Oloan Saut Gurning, said the accident was highly unlikely because there was no distress signal and the tanker could not have drifted out to sea, as it would have been detected by the navy. The Basarnas were to continue searching the ocean for four days, after which the police and navy would take over. The tanker was currently missing.

Isle of death

Koh Tao is an idyllic island located on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Tao means “turtle island” and its coral reefs are inhabited by beautiful sea creatures, including turtles. There are many accommodation options for tourists here, designed for both budget holidays and those who want to indulge in luxury. It really is an amazing vacation spot… at least at first glance.

Behind its beauty and luxury lies dark and disturbing evidence of the crime. Doubtful rumors of body parts floating in shallow waters and of a local mob controlling the island have come into focus after a series of unexplained deaths. Now people are wary of going to Ko Tao, or “death island,” as it has been dubbed, and for a good reason.

In 2012, Ben Harrington died here when his motorcycle crashed into an electric pole. He was driving his motorcycle alone at the time, and his wallet and watch were never found after the accident. His mother believed he had been the victim of a crime when a specially strung wire was the cause, especially after the coroner reluctantly stated that the cause of death was an “accident.”

In September 2014, two tourists, Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, were found murdered on the same beach where Ben Harrington was vacationing before he died. It was later discovered that Hannah had been raped before the murder. The local police were unable to preserve the crime scene or track the island’s port. Instead, they focused on interrogating two migrants from Myanmar, who were eventually found guilty and sentenced to death for the murders.

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However, police officers allegedly failed to collect DNA samples and check the victims’ clothing. Two weeks after the murders, another body was found on the same beach: that of Luke Miller, 24, lying at the bottom of a swimming pool.

Then 23-year-old Valentina Novozhenova disappeared from a hostel on Ko Tao and was never seen again. Six weeks later, the body of a young girl was found, but it was not Valentina. It was the remains of Belgian tourist Elise Dallemagne, her body burned and wrapped in several T-shirts.

In January 2015, Christina Marian Annesley, 23, was found dead in a bungalow on the island of Tao. Her remains lingered for days before an autopsy was performed, leading the British coroner to reject the Thai experts’ findings, accusing them of incompetence. All these unexplained deaths led to rumors that a family of serial killers lived on the island, or the local mafia was involved in the deaths.

The wreck of the shipwreck and the curse

The ship HMS Wasp was built in 1880 for fishing and lighthouse inspection. It also carried bailiffs to conduct evictions. The Wasp was very popular in Derry and frequently called at the local port along with the ship HMS Valiant.

Remaining of shipwreck
Remaining of shipwreck

On September 21, 1884, HMS Wasp was to sail to Moville to collect bailiffs and other officers to carry out the evictions on Innistrahull Island. The route was familiar, and everyone’s spirits were high. Unfortunately, tragedy struck shortly thereafter. At 3:45 a.m. HMS Wasp crashed on the rocks off Tory Island. It sank within 30 minutes. As a result, 50 crew members died, and only six survived.

One of the survivors later recounted that when the Wasp approached Tory Island, it was sailing, and its boilers were off. He intended to sail between Tori Lighthouse and the mainland instead of round the island, which was safer. In addition, the survivor claimed that all the senior officers were sound asleep, leaving the junior officers in charge.

Nevertheless, most agreed that the shipwreck was very strange, especially since the ship had crashed into the rocks just below the lighthouse. The water was calm, and the weather was fine. After the ship sank, the Tory lighthouse glowed brightly, but opinions differ as to whether it was on when the ship approached it.

Some believe the lighthouse was turned off on purpose to prevent the bailiffs from bringing the ship to the island. Others claim that there was a cursed Tory stone aboard the ship, which ultimately led to the disaster. The Admiralty investigation has offered no clues as to what happened, and the demise of HMS Wasp is shrouded in mystery.

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Mysterious divers

Divers can’t avoid encountering the paranormal when they explore the depths of the ocean. Not only have they heard the sound of boat engines starting when no boats were visible on the surface of the ocean above them, but they have also heard strange grinding noises coming from the engine room of the Japanese ship Hoki Maru, which sank in Truk Lagoon in 1944.

An ocean diver
An ocean diver

In 2007, a group of divers explored the ocean waters surrounding Grenada. Weary from the swim, the group returned to their ship to review each other’s notes on what they had seen beneath the ocean’s surface. One member of the group asked if his comrades had seen another diver in a white shirt waving at them. Alas, no one else had seen this mysterious diver, and all the participants were even counted to make sure no one was missing. Everyone was there, and there were no other boats or ships in the area. The group never found out who the diver in the white shirt was.

In 2012, scuba instructors were diving in Santa Rosa, California, when they spotted an unknown diver with a pink tank diving and swimming near a blue hole. They swam closer to see if the diver was in trouble, but no sooner had they reached the hole than the diver disappeared. The diving instructors immediately notified the police, who in turn told them that the figure at the blue hole had been seen by other divers, and then the mystery diver disappeared.

Sea Monsters

Sea monsters of all shapes and sizes have become the subject of legends. It’s hard not to feel awe at the mention of Kraken, giant squid, or man-eating sharks. Stories of encounters with sea monsters have been around for hundreds of years.

One of the most famous stories tells of G. H. Hight and his companion who went to Madagascar in 1889 only to have the villagers tell them about a huge green sea serpent that attacked a fishing boat and ate one of the four fishermen in it. It then chased the three survivors all the way to shore before disappearing back out to sea. Hight organized a group to find the unfortunate fishermen and also saw the kite. He and others shot at the animal, but to no avail. Naturally, there is no evidence to support this story, and the only account of it appeared in the Washington Herald in March 1909.

Another frightening story saw the light of day in Fate magazine in 1965. Edward Brian McCleary, 16, went with four friends to the open sea in the Gulf of Mexico in 1962. Their names were Warren Felly, Eric Ruyle, Larry Bill, and Brad Rice. McCleary returned home alone, exhausted and frightened. He told the police that a sea monster/dragon had appeared in the water and had attacked and killed his friends. He described the monster as a creature with a neck about 4 meters long, green scales, and an elongated turtle-like head.

McCleary denied claims that he mistook a submarine for the monster and went on to say that news outlets refused to publish his story unless he omitted the story of the sea monster. Larry Bill’s body was allegedly found (he drowned), but the other three boys were never found. Naturally, very few people believed the story of the sea creature rising from the depths to attack the teenagers. What exactly happened on that fateful day remains a mystery.

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