An underwater survey off the coast of Greece has uncovered a massive cache of wrecked ships, sunk over a span of more than 2000 years. And researchers just keep finding more and more to add to that tally. In the nine months they have been swimming around Greece's Fourni archipelago, the research team from The Fourni Underwater Survey has already found 45 individual shipwrecks in the 27km stretch. A whopping 23 of those shipwrecks were detailed in a new announcement from the team issued today. Strangest of all, there doesn't seem to be any pattern to the age of the shipwrecks. The oldest dates back to around 500 BC, while the youngest is from around 1800.
To put the scale of the find in perspective, Peter Campbell of the University of Southampton and lead archaeologist on the project points out that similar coastlines in the area only have a couple shipwrecks -- and other similarly-sized finds have been spread across areas about 20 times as big.
"For comparison, many larger islands around the Mediterranean have only three or four known shipwrecks. The United States recently created a national marine sanctuary in Lake Michigan to protect 39 known shipwrecks located in 875 square miles [2266 square km]," Campbell noted in a statement. "Fourni has 45 known shipwrecks around its 17 square mile [44 square km] territory."
And the team isn't done adding to the total yet. There are two more years left in the investigation -- and still several areas that divers haven't even begun to explore. So researchers expect to find even more shipwrecks, from across different eras, as they investigate through 2018.
The message is clear: Stay away from the Fourni islands, sailor. Here be monsters.
All images by Vasilis Mentogianis / Fourni Underwater Survey