The Most Valuable Things Ever To Be Found In The Ocean

By Steph Wright on June 10 2020 in History

Shipwrecks throughout history have often been the source of priceless treasures. Image credit: Fer Gregory/Shutterstock.com
Shipwrecks throughout history have often been the source of priceless treasures. Image credit: Fer Gregory/Shutterstock.com
  • 95% of the ocean is still unexplored.
  • Titanic's remains are worth USD 200 million.
  • RMS Republic's treasures are yet to be found.

Planet earth has only one global ocean but four ocean basins: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. It is thought that the first sea crossing took place around 53,000 to 65,000 years ago. Since then, the ocean has been subjected to a number of historical events including, voyages, battles, and wars. As a result, the sea-beds are home to many treasures; some discovered items are hundreds of years old. We will never truly know what is at the bottom of the sea, as 95 percent of the ocean remains unknown to us, but it is assumed that there are billions of dollars’ worth of treasure lying on the seafloor. Read on below to find out the most valuable things ever to be found at the bottom of the ocean so far.

Titanic - USD 200 million

Wreck of the RMS Titanic. 

Titanic is one of the most famous ships of all time. It sank in April 2912 and its remains were not discovered until 1985. It was assumed that the ship went down in one piece, so its contents would have remained intact. However, Robert Ballard discovered that Titanic had sunk in two parts, and what was found was disintegrating. Despite this, a number of items were in good enough condition to sell for thousands at auction. The overall discovery has been valued at USD 200 million; there is the possibility that the wreck still holds valuables, but they are now lost at sea.  

Underwater Sphinx – USD 600 million

Ancient Alexandria was one of the most important cities in Egypt, it was home to Queen Cleopatra and the Great Library, one of the largest and most significant libraries in the ancient world. However, a series of earthquakes and tidal waves caused the city to sink. In 1992, French archaeologist Frank Goddio discovered undamaged remains of the city, including a huge sphinx statue worth USD 600 million. It was pulled from the ocean bed and put on display in the Cairo museum where it can still be seen today.

Salcombe Shipwreck – USD 800 million

Salcombe is a quaint, unassuming town in the south of Devon, England. In the early 1990s, a discovery was made that put Salcombe on the map. A ship, dating back to the mid-17th century, was discovered on the seafloor. It contained piles of Moroccan gold. Then, in 2004, another discovery was made. The remains of a ship from the Bronze Age were exposed due to a shift in the seabed and a huge number of 13th-century artifacts were pulled from the wreckage. It is believed that there is more to be excavated from the site, but its value currently stands at USD 800 million.

RMS Republic USD 7 billion

RMS Republic. Image credit: White Star Line/Public domain

The RMS Republic met its fateful end in 1909 when it collided with another ship. The ship was carrying 1,500 wealthy passengers, but thanks to the then-state of the art wireless radio system, an SOS call meant the onboard travelers were saved. Their valuables, however, were not and sank to the ocean floor. It’s believed that the ship was also carrying several million US dollars’ worth of gold intended for Russia, but this is yet to be discovered. In 1987, Martin Bayerle attempted to salvage the lost gold but was unsuccessful. Experts recently estimated that the coins are worth around USD 7 billion, not including the valuables left by the millionaire passengers.

Caesarea Treasure – Priceless

Part of the largest gold treasure in Israel. Image credit: Olevy/Wikimedia.org

In 2015, Zvika Fayer’s life changed forever. What he thought would be a routine scuba diving trip turned out to be a monumental event. He was exploring the remains of a shipwreck when he noticed something shimmering in the sand. When he picked it up, he realized it was a gold coin. As he swept the sand aside, he noticed another one, and then another. Zvika quickly returned to shore and called the Israeli Antiques Authority. With some help, Zvika was able to uncover nearly 2000 gold coins and a number of statues. It is believed the ship was a Roman cargo vessel that sunk around 1,600 years ago. A similar wreckage was found at the beginning of 2015, the two discoveries combined are not only "the most amazing finds of Roman treasure in Israel" but the most priceless underwater discovery of all time.

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