Baltic Sea discovery: ‘Well preserved’ 400-year-old ship found in depths of Baltic Sea | Science | News

Divers from Finland have found a 400-year old ship in the depths of the Baltic Sea which offers a “unique insight” into boating history of the 1600s. The boat, which is an example of a Dutch ‘fluit’ (or fluyt), was found near the mouth of the Gulf of Finland, in the east of the Baltic Sea.

Researchers have found many ocean artefacts around that way as the Baltic Sea is one of the few places in the world where wooden ships can be preserved almost perfects.

Due to the almost freezing temperatures, microorganisms find it difficult to flourish, meaning there is less to break down the ship.

Many ships have been found in this reason, according to the researchers of the Badewanne diving team, who state the area was an important trade route in the 17th century.

Researchers behind the discovery also stated that the ships were a key tool in the beginning of globalisation.

The ship in question was found at a depth of 85 metres and has only sustained minimal damage.

A statement from Badewanne said: “There is only slight damage from a pelagic trawl.

“The trawl seems to have swept her from bow towards the aft, dislocating the stem, damaging the poop deck and the topmost part of the typical Fluit transom somewhat.

“Apart from these damages, the wreck is intact, holds are full, and all side planking is firmly in place.”

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But despite the success and popularity of fluits, they began to die out in the 18th century.

Further excavations of the sunken ship could reveal the facts of why these boats became less popular.

Maritime archaeologist Niklas Eriksson from the University of Stockholm in Sweden said: “The wreck reveals many of the characteristics of the fluit but also some unique features, not least the construction of the stern.

“It might be that this is an early example of the design.

“The wreck thus offers a unique opportunity to investigate the development of a ship type that sailed all over the world and became the tool that laid the foundation for early modern globalisation.”


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