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Updated on March 17, 2008

Shipwrecks have always fascinated us. It conjures up vision of lost treasures, pirates and adventure. We all know the story of HMS BOUNTY, and how the mutineers sank the ship off Pitcairn islands in 1790. But there were many other ships which sank in the Eastern Hemisphere about which we know very little. In fact HMS PANDORA, the British warship which arrested the mutineers of HMS BOUNTY sank in North Eastern Australia in 1791.

Shipwrecks in the Eastern hemisphere date as far back as the 10 century, and some strangely enough were found on land. QUANZHOU ship for example is one such case. It was found in Fujian province, China in 1974 and it contained coins of the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD)

The greatest shipwreck must have been KUBLAI KHAN'S fleet which was wrecked probably in 1274 due to a storm. About 100,000 soldiers who were heading to attack Japan perished in this disaster.

The SHINAN wreck which sank probably in 1323 AD had about 7 million Chinese copper coins and weighed about 28 tons.

But it was FLOR DO MAR which brings to our images of lost treasures. This Portuguese ship which sank off the coast of Malacca in 1511 AD had 60 tons of gold! A good place for treasure hunters to go because, it is still intact. But there is a catch. The treasure is bogged down by 15 m of sediments.

Pieces of eight silver coins, which evoke memories of Stevenson's TREASURE ISLAND, were found in plenty in the Dutch ship VERGULDE DRAECK which sank in 1629 while heading for Batavia.

Another wreck which may interest treasure hunters is that of ‘Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Saragoza y Santiago'. This Spanish ship loaded with silver and gold sank in 1690 at the southern reef of Cocos Island. The treasure has still not been located.

Another shipwreck with lost gold is closer to our times. The YAMASHITA GOLD TRANSPORT which sank off the coast of Philippines during the Second World War contains gold which has not been recovered. Ship wrecks will never cease to interest us.


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  • ram_m profile image

    ram_m 8 years ago from India

    Thank you for the suggestion, I shall certainly do so. As you rightly said the Hollywood versions of Bounty (both Mutiny on the Bounty and Bounty) were romantic adaptions of a bleak fact of history.But the interesting part of it is that, the descendants of Fletcher Christian still live in that remote South Pacific island.

  • SweetiePie profile image

    SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

    Interesting hub, but if you ever come back try adding more information about the Bounty and shipwreck stories. I absolutely love the story of how Fletcher Christian decided to mutiny against William Bligh, but the actual historical events were not quite as romantic as the Hollywood vision. It still makes for interesting reading though.

  • profile image

    Pascal 8 years ago

    I love shipwrecks stories !!!