Stockholm (Global Adventures): 12 well preserved ship wrecks have been discovered in the Baltic Sea by a gas consortium building an underwater pipeline between Russia and Germany. While most of the ships are from the 17th and 18th centuries, some of them are believed to be up to 1,000 years old. The Swedish National Heritage Board said in a press release.
Three of the ships were found upside-down at a depth of 430 feet (131 meters) with their hull intact. Many of the wrecks are believed to be of high historic value. However, further exploration may require expensive expeditions and advanced techniques, due to their depth.
The wrecks are not in the projected pipeline path, but in the so-called anchor corridor. This puts them at risk of damage since ships working on the pipeline project might anchor in the area.
All wrecks seem to be in excellent condition. Due to the low oxygen and salinity levels and freezing temperatures. The Baltic Sea is known as an ideal environment for conserving shipwrecks.
Russia’s Gazprom holds a 51 percent stake in the Nord Stream consortium, which will start with the construction of the pipeline in April. While exploring the route, the conglomerate did discover many objects including 80 sea mines. A 300-year old shipwreck was discovered in Germany’s Bay of Greifswald while clearing a route for the pipeline and salvaged in 2009.
When finished, the new pipeline is expected to carry 1.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year.
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