Pair of shipwrecks discovered off the coast of Colombia
Last week, Colombian naval officials monitoring the wreck of the famous San José galleon, discovered two new shipwrecks, off the country's Caribbean Coast.
Known as the 'Holy Grail' of shipwrecks, the San José is a 64-gun galleon that belonged to King Philip V of Spain. It was sunk near the Colombian city of Cartagena, by the British navy during the War of Spanish Succession in 1708.
The city of Cartagena, near where the shipwrecks were discovered
It was believed to contain one of the most valuable collections of treasures ever lost at sea (which today could be valued at over $17 billion) a mountain of gold, silver, emeralds and other precious objects taken from Spain’s colonial empire.
Generations of treasure hunters searched for its remains, until eventually, in 2015, an American organisation working in partnership with the Colombian government, discovered the wreck, some 600 metres below the ocean's surface.
Colombian naval officials have spent years monitoring the ship's wreckage, and discovered the pair of nearby vessels (a colonial boat and a schooner) on Monday, during a 'non-intrusive excursion' using a remotely operated filming vehicle. The never-before-seen shipwrecks are thought to date back some two centuries, around the time of Colombia's war for independence from Spain.
In addition to the new discoveries, Colombian authorities released footage revealing more of San José and, a small portion of its precious cargo, including gold coins and pottery. What's more, Colombian authorities believe that there might be even more extraordinary finds in store: "We now have two other discoveries in the same area, that show other options for archaeological exploration. So the work is just beginning", said navy commander Admiral Gabriel Perez.
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