Researchers Think They Have Found Christopher Columbus’ Famous Ship, The Santa Maria

Santa Maria
A replica of The Santa Maria in Madeira, an archipelago near the Canary Islands. Wikimedia Commons

More than 500 years after it sank, the wreckage of Christopher Columbus’ famous ship, the Santa Maria, might be sitting on at the bottom of the ocean near Haiti, The Independent reports.

Archaeological researchers were able to determine the location of the wreckage with the help of discoveries made by other archaeologists in 2003, including the approximate location of Columbus’ fort. Then a team led by underwater archaeological investigator Barry Clifford used Columbus’ diary, which described where the ship sank in relation to his fort, to figure out where the ship’s wreckage was likely to be.

Clifford’s team has surveyed the wreckage site and photographed it, and the The Independent has a photo of the site.

If it turns out to be the wreckage of the Santa Maria, it would be one of the most important underwater archaeological discoveries ever.

Columbus’ exploration of North America paved the way for European colonization of the land. He landed in The Bahamas after sailing from Spain in 1492.

While he and his team were there, the Santa Maria had to be abandoned because it drifted onto a reef at night. It was reportedly off the northern coast of Haiti.

Here’s a look at a replica on the water: