We’ve all been there. We watch those movies about treasure hunters or a lost empire’s fortune and dream about being the one who finds it.
Well, you’re in luck! Not only have we found some incredible stories about treasure hunters who found their fortunes at the bottom of the sea, we’ve found a few that are still out there waiting for you to claim it.
Check out our Lost list for sunken treasure with your name on it, and our list of Found for the inspiration to go out there and get it.
During the final days of WWII in Austria, a group of Nazi ships decided that they would rather dump their wooden crates filled with gold rather than see it fall into the hands of their enemies. For 60 years the treasure remained at the bottom of the lake. Dark waters and entangled logs took the lives of many who dared to try to claim the fortune, but recent high-tech searches have proven to be successful earlier this year. Valuable documents are confirmed to have been recovered, but the rest of the fortune will remain a mystery until the documentary is released.
SS Central America
Also known as the Ship Of Gold, this vessel got caught up in a Category 2 hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas back in 1857. Carrying nearly 10 tons of California prospecting gold, the ship was dragged through Atlantic waters until it sank.
A 1988 expedition recovered $100-150 Million - including an $8 Million 80 lb ingot, the most valuable piece of currency in the world at the time - but only accounts for a portion of the estimated half-Billion value of the treasure. Legal battles are ongoing, but there will certainly be an “owner” of all this gold and probable total recovery.
One of the sacred lakes of the Muisca - ancient Columbian civilization - involved honouring the Gods by tossing gold and other valuables into the water. Thought to be the origin of the legendary El Dorado (The lost city of gold), treasure hunters have attempted to drain lake Toplitz on several occasions. Although $500,000 worth of valuables have been discovered, some bad luck resulted in the draining attempts to be unsuccessful. The vast majority of the treasure is still out there.
The SS Gairsoppa was struck down by a German U-boat torpedo while en route to Galway, Ireland to refuel bringing 200 tons of silver to the bottom of the ocean with it. To date only 61 tons have been recovered leaving almost $480 Million in silver to be claimed by a lucky explorer.
SS City of Cairo
Torpedoed by a Nazi U-boat off the cost of St. Helena in 1942. She sunk to the ocean floor carrying 2,000 boxes of silver coins of which $15 Million worth - a small percentage - has been recovered.
Treasure of San Miguel de Archangel
Thinking that travelling from Mexico to Spain just before hurricane season would protect the ship from pirates resulted in San Miguel’s - along with the rest of the fleet’s - demise. Strong winds tore the ships apart approximately 7 day’s sail from Cuba, killing thousands of sailors and sinking Billions-worth of silverplate, gold, pearls, emeralds, and other precious items.
Seven of this ships have been located, but only a fraction of the treasure has been recovered and the San Miguel has yet to be spotted.
Lost Kingdom of Cleopatra
The city of Alexandria mysteriously disappeared off of the the coast of Egypt some 1600 years ago. Although you’ll find no gold or jewels here, you will discover more than 20,000 sunken treasures including statues, sphinxes, columns, and one of the seven wonders of the world, the Pharos - a 440 foot tall lighthouse which guided ships safely home for over 2000 years.
The Gates of Hell
A 500 year old shipwreck was discovered where you’d least expect it - the Namibian Desert!
Okay it wasn’t IN the desert, it was just off the Skeleton Coast. The ‘Bom Jesus’, a Portuguese ship en route from Lisbon to India, wasn’t quite able to navigate through the harsh surf and thick fog that the region is known for, leaving gold, tin, ivory tusks, and 44,000 pounds of copper.
This is the oldest wreck discovered in the area, but there are many others close by. It makes sense that Portuguese sailors used to call this region “The Gates of Hell”.
By now it’s time to grab your charts and scuba gear and jump into your Legend Boat. Adventure and fortune await.
X marks the spot!