5 Shipwrecks You Probably Never Heard Of

With Titanic monopolizing the shipwreck category in every way, including the current 100 year anniversary celebrations going on, it’s hard to believe that there were other ships that met their untimely demise in much the same way. They were either hit by something or hit something, and they sank.

“Who cares?” you might ask. I’ll answer that with another question… “if you can care so much about the Titanic, where are the celebrations for these other ships?”

It’s all of the Titanic’s hogging of the spotlight that undoubtedly coined the term “showboating”.

Naturally there have been hundreds, if not thousands of shipwrecks over the years. It’s amazing the oceans aren’t full of scrap metal now so much that sailing across them would be impossible, but as it is, there’s a lot of room under the sea for plenty more ships. You think global warming is raising the ocean? I think it’s all of the ships bottoming out.

5. The Mary Rose

This ship was built between 1509 and 1511 and was a favorite ship of King Henry VIII. He probably married and killed a few of his brides on it.

Artists rendition of what The Mary Rose looked like.

The Mary Rose sailed for a while and had a long and successful career. But she sank in 1545 accidentally, while hanging out during an engagement with the French fleet.

Found in 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust, a lot of her artifacts are now on display in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

So where’s her celebration? Last year was the 500th anniversary of when she set sail, but I never heard a thing on the news. This year is the 30th anniversary of her recovery, but there sure wasn’t a weekend-long PBS special on TV about her. So what gives?

Nobody knows for sure exactly how many people lost their lives when The Mary Rose sank, but estimations are set right around 2 billion.

4. The Estonia

The Estonia was built in the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and sunk recently in 1994. On September 28th to be exact. Funny, every year on September 28th I don’t see a thing in the national news papers about it…

Picture taken just before she hit an iceberg.

The Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea in one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century, being the deadliest sinking in the Baltic Sea in peacetime, costing 852 lives. Do you think in 2014 we’ll hear about a 20 year celebration to worship those who lost their lives aboard The Estonia? I doubt it.

From Wikipedia: The casualties “had an immense impact on the world concept of ferry safety” and led to changes in safety regulations and liferaft design much as the Titanic disaster did in 1912.

Well obviously those changes the Titanic brought upon safety regulations for ships were just slightly off, because they didn’t help The Estonia at all.

3. The Vasa

The Vasa is an older ship, built in the 17th century. Just like the Titanic, it sank on its maiden voyage, only The Vasa traveled just one nautical mile before sinking. So yeah, it was a huge failure.

"One nautical mile Titanic! Suck on that! I didn't even hit an iceberg!" - The Vasa

So how far is a nautical mile? Since it’s a nautical thing and means nothing to the rest of the real world, I’ll enlighten you. One nautical mile translates roughly to thirty standard feet, or ten yards. I’m sure that’s right. I didn’t even look it up.

And WHY did The Vasa sink? It was literally built to. Back in those days, people just built ships for the hell of it, whether they knew what they were doing or not, and The Vasa was built by some dude who had less nautical experience than a cat.

So now she’s been raised and dusted off and you can go check her out anytime you want. Just plan a trip to Sweden to see her museum in Stockholm. You can be one of the 29 million people who have visited the museum since 1961.

2. The Sultana

A Mississippi River steamboat built in 1863 by the John Litherbury Shipyard in Cincinnati, The Sultana was being used to transport POWs from the Union army back home after the American Civil War and made regular trips from St. Louis and New Orleans.

Despite what the picture might make you think, there actually were no colors in 1865. Colors didn't happen until the 1960s.

One fateful night in 1865, the ship’s boiler blew the fuck up and destroyed the ship, killing everyone on board. The explosion could be seen for miles, probably.

Because of the non-existent awesome ship-codes that the sinking of the Titanic brought upon fifty years later, over 1,800 innocent people lost their lives. Sucks to be you Titanic, you only killed 1,517! The major death toll is what gave The Sultana the tag Titanic of the Mississippi, even though The Sultana sank fifty years before the Titanic did. Way to go, jackasses. Shouldn’t we be calling the Titanic the Sultana of the Atlantic?

The ship was brought back from the dead in 1982 when it was discovered in a fucking soy bean field. Apparently the flow of the Mississippi River has changed course a few times since 1865, and the ship was found 4 feet under the field.

No tours of its stuff are currently going around. But I’m sure you don’t need one, what with all of the Titanic’s shit on display everywhere all the time, right?

1. The Carpathia

Talk about irony. The Carpathia was the ship that came to the Titanic’s rescue when it went down like a paid-off fighter in a Don King fight.

Lookout! Iceberg! Just kidding. But seriously though, you'll sink too.

She made her maiden voyage in 1903 and then helped out the Titanic in 1912. In 1918 (some sources say 1917), she sank at the hands of a torpedo sent by an Imperial German Navy U-boat during WWI disguised mysteriously as an iceberg.

Amazingly, only five people died while the rest of the people on board, all 275 of them, survived. Even the Captain didn’t go down with his ship.

It was discovered in 1999 by a company known as Argosy International Ltd. and was promptly turned into a casino.

2 responses to “5 Shipwrecks You Probably Never Heard Of

  1. Interesting. Auditioning as a writer for cracked.com?

  2. It would be nice, they pay well, but no, I’m not. I actually signed up to be a writer for them a while ago and I haven’t heard anything. They have tons of people each day trying to get in to write for them. As far as this goes, I just like their way of doing things so I thought I’d write like that. It’s fun and otherwise I’d probably have nothing to write about here.

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