Archive for the 'Underwater' Category

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15th-century shipwreck laden with treasure found

artshipwreckap.jpgThe ship was laden with tons of copper ingots, elephant tusks, gold coins — and cannons to fend off pirates lurking off Africa some five centuries ago.

An archaeologist displays shipwreck loot: a Spanish gold coin, three Portuguese silver coins and brass dividers.
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It had nothing to protect it from the fierce weather off a particularly bleak stretch of inhospitable coast. It sank, only to be found last month by men seeking other treasure.

“If you’re mining on the coast, sooner or later you’ll find a wreck,” archaeologist Dieter Noli, who is researching the ship’s origins, said in an interview Thursday, describing De Beers geologists stumbling on the wreck April 1 as they prospected for diamonds off Namibia’s southwest coast.

Namdeb Diamond Corp., a joint venture of the government of Namibia and De Beers, had cleared and drained a stretch of seabed, building an earthen wall to keep the water out so geologists could work.

Noli said one of the geologists first saw a few ingots, but had no idea what they were. Then they found what looked like cannon barrels, but weren’t sure.

The geologists stopped the brutal earth-moving work of searching for diamonds and sent photos to Noli, who had done research in the Namibian desert since his university days in Cape Town in the mid-1980s and since 1996 has advised De Beers on the archaeological impact of its operations in Namibia.

The find “was what I’d been waiting for for 20 years,” Noli said. “Understandably, I was pretty excited. I still am.”

 full story at cnn

Sharks with frickin’ lasers

lasers_20080206161421.pngReports that a fifth undersea communications cable in the Middle East has been damaged in less than a week — further compromising Internet access in countries there, and knocking Iran off the grid entirely – are triggering wild conspiracy theories about who’s at fault, from Islamic extremists to the CIA. But BizTech readers can proceed with global business as planned: the reports aren’t true.

How disappointing.

Underwater olympics

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A Chinese aquarium is staging an underwater olympics to mark Chinese New Year.  The event, at Underwater World in Qingdao city, will feature sports including fencing, shooting, cycling and gymnastics, reports Qingdao Morning Post.  All of the competitors will all be qualified divers and the sports have been adapted to take account of the ‘conditions’.

full story w/ more pics

Captain Kidd’s ship discovered?

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Divers believe they have discovered the 300-year-old remains of a ship once captained by the notorious British pirate Captain Kidd.

Complete with cannons and anchors, the wreckage of the 400-ton Quedagh Merchant has lain untouched and undiscovered off the coast of Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic.For centuries treasure hunters have sought the ship, but it has now been stumbled across by a local scuba diver.

The wreckage, found in shallow waters only 10ft from the surface and only 70ft from the coastline, is likely to provide vital clues and information about the notorious Kidd, who was hanged in London for piracy in 1701.

Researchers from Indiana University have been sent down to protect the remains from scavengers and turn the area into an underwater preserve.

Charles Beeker, a scuba-diving archaeologist who teaches at Indiana University, said: “When I first looked down and saw it, I couldn’t believe everybody missed it for 300 years. I’ve been on thousands of wrecks and this is one of the first where it’s been untouched by looters.   
Captain Kidd was one of the most notorious pirates of his generation

“We’ve got a shipwreck in crystal clear, pristine water that’s amazingly untouched. We want to keep it that way.”

Full story, via Spluch

World record underwater radio broadcast

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Action Underwater Studios was host to a World Record Underwater radio broadcast. Martin Day, Sue Harrison and the morning Crew from Essex FM Radio Station Broadcast their Breakfast show from the Action Underwater Studios. The British record stood at 1hr and 25 mins held by Nick Girdler EX BBC, and the world record was 3 hrs 30 mins held by German Radio Presenter Frank Niessen.

Link, via Spluch

The Neptune Memorial Reef

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A new underwater memorial reef set to open off the coast of Florida is part of an emerging trend for offbeat burials, sending people to new frontiers after they die, from outer space down to the ocean floor.

The man-made reef—the world’s largest—will offer room for the remains of up to 125,000 individuals, said Jerry Norman, CEO of The Neptune Society, the group responsible for creating the revolutionary resting place.

“The Neptune Memorial Reef provides a natural setting for loved ones that is also a awe-inspiring destination where family can gather and enjoy,” Norman said.

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Covering an area of 16 acres just more than 3 miles off the coast of Miami, the reef is a whimsical re-creation of a lost city, complete with columns, roads and city gates. Individuals who choose an interment there—The Neptune Society calls it a “placement”—are cremated and placed in various parts of the structure. A simple placement costs about $1,500, while a spot inside the body of a majestic bronze lion runs the price up by several thousand dollars.

Me, they can sew up in me hammock, with a 9-pound shot at me feet, and the last stitch through me nose.

   >>  Neptune Memorial Reef (flashy promotion)

   >>  BG Capital Group (the money)

   >>  Full story at LiveScience, via Fark

Ingredients for Salad Dressing Found in 2,400-year-old Shipwreck

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Ceramic jars onboard a 2,400-year-old shipwreck, with starfish and sponges growing on them. DNA analysis shows these jars held olive oil flavored with oregano and possibly wine.
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Genetic analysis has revealed the contents of an ancient shipwreck dating back to the era of the Roman Republic and Athenian Empire. The cargo was olive oil flavored with oregano.

Beyond discovering ingredients for Italian salad dressing on the sea floor, such research could provide a wealth of insights concerning the everyday life of ancient seafaring civilizations that would otherwise be lost at sea.

An international team of U.S. and Greek researchers investigated the remains of a 2,400-year-old shipwreck that lies 230 feet (70 meters) deep, roughly a half-mile (1 kilometer) off the coast of the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea.

 Link via Neatorama

More Fish on Friday

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Today’s mermaid – Amphitrite, Siren of Sunset Reef

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Amphitrite by Simon Morris guards Sunset Reef just offshore of Sunset House dive-friendly resort on Grand Cayman Island.  You’ll need to dive to 55′ to see her.

Underwater pumpking carving

Eight days to Hallowe’en…. 

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KEY LARGO, Fla. —  Not content to carve their pumpkins in the traditional way, several divers carved jack-o’-lanterns more than 30 feet below the ocean’s surface.

Ken and Linda Smith of Sebring, Fla., took top honors Saturday for their “scary pumpkin” at the 10th annual Amoray Dive Resort Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Their prize was a free dive trip.

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Carving underwater wasn’t easy, Ken Smith said.

“The pumpkins want to float, so that makes it difficult,” he said. “So you’re working against your own buoyancy and the pumpkin’s.”

Some contestants dropped a weight inside their pumpkins to keep them on the bottom. Then they sliced and pared to create their entries alongside yellowtail snapper and other fish.

The contest was staged about five miles off Key Largo.

[link]

Underwater World


A stunning compilation (in HD) showcasing the marine environment at Cococ Beach island Resort in the Philippines.   From ScubaMagazine with Underwater Photo/Video, Travel, Gear & Dive Discussion Community.

Jelly-fish sea home

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 Jelly-fish 45, designed by Giancarlo Zema is a floating dwelling unit for up to six persons. It’s spacious dimensions are 10 metres high with a diameter of over 15 metres. The Jelly-fish 45 would be ideally situated in sea parks, atolls, bays and seas rich in flora and fauna. The Jelly-fish 45 allows the sea dwelling owners to live either above or below sea level in perfect harmony with the ocean environment.

It consists of five levels connected by a spiral staircase. The top level is 5.6 metres above the sea level and has been kept for study rooms. The next lower level is situated at 3.5 metres above the sea level and contains the night time zone while the next lower level at 1.4 metres contains the daytime zone with a kitchen and bathrooms. The lowest living level at 0.8 metres above the sea level is semi-submerged and has been kept for the guest room, bathroom and technical spaces.

Maximum diameter – 15 meters
Accomodation – 6/8 beds
Main structure – high density fibreglass
Deck surface – solid teak

Cost – $USD 2,500,000 

link via Neatorama

Mer-guy smashes underwater swimming record

mer-guy.jpgDave Mullins claims he is an “unusually slow” swimmer, but with lungs burning and legs aching he smashed the world record for an underwater swim without a breath not once, but twice.

Yesterday, the Wellington man swam 244 metres underwater on one breath, blitzing a record he set on Friday by 18 metres.

Using a mono fin, Mullins swam nonstop for four minutes and two seconds, completing nearly five lengths of the 50-metre Naenae pool.

[full story]

Asian “Atlantis” Shows Strange Structure

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September 19, 2007—Not far from Taiwan, Pacific waters engulf stone structures just off the coast of the tiny Japanese island of Yonaguni Jima, part of the Ryukyu archipelago in this undated photo.

The structures maybe the ruins of a 5,000-year-old city that featured a castle, several temples, and a stadium, according to a Japanese researcher who has been diving at the site for past 15 years.

Full story at the National Geographic