How Can You Discover a Submerged Vessel?

Quck answer

Finding a sunken ship involves a combination of research, technology, and exploration. The process typically begins with historical research to determine the approximate location of the shipwreck. Sonar technology, such as side-scan or multi-beam sonar, is then used to scan the ocean floor and create detailed images. Divers may also be deployed to visually inspect the wreckage and collect artifacts. Remote operated vehicles (ROVs) equipped with cameras and manipulator arms can be used for deeper or more dangerous dives. The information gathered is analyzed and documented by marine archaeologists and historians, shedding light on the ship’s history and contributing to our understanding of maritime heritage.


Are you familiar with the Titanic? Many children find it captivating. You may have learned about this renowned sunken ship in your history lessons. Alternatively, you might have watched the widely popular movie with the same title. The remarkable story of the Titanic has made it the most famous submerged vessel in history.

Sunken ships are commonly referred to as shipwrecks. The term “shipwreck” accurately describes the remains of a ship that has sunk. There are numerous reasons why ships sink. In the case of the Titanic, it collided with an iceberg, causing damage to its hull. The ship filled with water, leading to its descent beneath the surface.

Other ships may sink due to tropical storms, like hurricanes. During times of war, ships may be destroyed by torpedoes and other weaponry launched by enemy ships and airplanes. There are countless other ways a ship can end up at the bottom of the ocean.

Shipwrecks vary in size. Some, like the Titanic or military battleships, are colossal. Others, such as small fishing boats, are more modest. Throughout history, the world’s oceans have claimed the lives of numerous vessels. Just how many? The United Nations estimates that there are over 3 million shipwrecks at the bottom of the world’s oceans!

Searching for shipwrecks is an appealing hobby for various individuals. Maritime archaeologists, for instance, might explore historic shipwrecks in the hopes of uncovering insights about the past. What can one discover from the wreckage of a 16th-century ship?

Of course, treasure hunters also seek out sunken ships. Their goal is to find money, jewels, or other valuable items. Pirate ships, for example, may contain chests brimming with gold waiting to be discovered!

Would you believe that some ships today are intentionally sunk? Why would someone do such a thing? As it turns out, it can be beneficial for the environment! Some ships are purposely sunk to create artificial reefs. These reefs can serve as habitats for a diverse array of marine life. Additionally, they make excellent locations for scuba diving!

If you come across a sunken ship, can you raise it to the surface? Answering that question is challenging because it depends on numerous factors. What condition is the ship in? After spending years underwater, most ships are too fragile to be raised to the surface. They would be completely destroyed in the process.

However, more recent shipwrecks may have the potential to be salvaged. This task requires significant funds and advanced technology. Unless they pose an environmental threat, most shipwrecks are left in their current location.

Give It a Try

Ask an adult to assist you in further exploring one or more of the activities listed below!

Explore these stunning photographs of shipwrecks. Make sure to read the brief descriptions of each wreck as well. Which of these shipwrecks would you like to witness firsthand in the future? Discuss this with a friend or family member.

Picture yourself stranded on a deserted island after a shipwreck. Who is accompanying you? What supplies do you have at your disposal? How will you ensure your survival? Consider how you will find nourishment and shelter. Additionally, think about the other obstacles you might encounter. Write a captivating story about your adventure.

Are you interested in delving deeper into the history of a renowned sunken ship? Research the RMS Lusitania or HMHS Britannic. What fascinating information did you discover? Compose a paragraph that highlights the most significant and captivating facts you learned about the ship you researched.

Sources of Wonder

  • http://www.shipwreckregistry.com/ (accessed on 27th February 2020)
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipwreck (accessed on 27th February 2020)
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/26/artificial-reefs_n_813915.html#229849 (accessed on 27th February 2020)

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