15. Ocean Hides The Deepest Secrets
Almost everyone who ever read about that specific ancient sailing ship, believed it to be lost forever. However, Johan Ronnby, a professor of Maritime archaeology, continued his quest for the ancient sailing warship. He sought the help of Richard Lundgren, owner of the professional diving company Ocean Discovery to solve this maritime mystery. But as it happens with most mysteries, they are never unraveled without a fair share of twists and turns upon discovery.
14. 20 Years Of Fruitless Search
John Ronnby got to know that the searching for battleship was being done for over 20 years by Richard, his brother Ingmar, and a friend and colleague Fredrik Skogh. They were awestruck to see a massive Swedish warship: Makalös in Stockholm Museumonce. So it was quite a deal to team up with someone who was already on the same mission. They were about to discover some astounding secrets of the world.
13. An Astounding Piece Of Work
The literal meaning for Makalös in Swedish is astounding. It was named after the Roman god of War and is also known as the Mars. This giant vessel was measured as large as 48 meters and was loaded with 107 guns which was an outstanding capacity for any ship back in 17th century. Now how does a ship that massive help at the time of war?
12. A Warship To Intimidate Enemies
The ship was one of the mightiest among all of Swedish fleet. It was built between 1563 and 1564. It was a solid anchor of hope, power and glory for King Eric XIV at a time where massive and huge defined military strength. The warship stood out remarkably because of this and succeeded in intimidating enemies. A quality that would prove vital in the dreadful Northern Seven Years’ War.
11. The Seven Years’ War
The Nordic Seven Years’ War popularly known as Northern Seven Years’ War was fought during 1563-1570 between the Kingdom of Sweden and a league of Denmark-Norway,Lübeck and Poland. The war saw huge losses of battle and lives and when these losses were no longer bearable, both the parties negotiated and the war came to an end. Wasn’t that a classic case of much ado about nothing?
10. Claiming Many Lives
In the long span of the war, the Mars claimed many lives. It gave a tough fight against Danes who were armed with forces from German city Lübeck. The Mars made the Danish force to retreat on day one, but the Germans tried to make a powerful comeback the next day. The Mars was a beast of the sea and was the first ship ever in the history of naval warfare to sink another ship with gunfire. But even the mightiest must fall one day. Did Mars ever go down?
9. How The Mighty Did Fall
During the battle of Öland in 1564, the giant Mars caught fire. Even its ferocious construct could not keep it from burning. It went down in flames, towards its end, taking nearly 900 Swedish and German sailors along with it. Within a few minutes, the huge warship as well as the gold and silver coins that could change the face of Sweden’s future, sank in the depths of Baltic Sea. Yet, there was a myth that never died about the warship.
8. A Myth That Lives On
However, there’s a myth about the Mars that lived even after its end. It revealed the greedy desires of King Erik XIV for owning the most terrific vessel. He is said to have seized and melted the bells from Catholic Church to make cannons for the Mars. Eventually, he had to bear the consequences and see the fall of the Mars. Was the God of the Catholic Church angry at Mars?
7. Ghost Stories Prevent Discovery
Mars has been an object of curiosity ever since its sinking, partly due to various myths associated with it. Treasure hunters, historians, archeologists etc have devoured its history from time to time, many others have tried to find signs of Mars in the sea but all attempts had been futile. They could only discover newer tales of the fate of the vessel and its crew while several haunting stories ensured that nobody ever reached the Mars. It was as if the warship was waiting for the right kind of people to discover it.
6. Finally Finding The Lost Ship
After many centuries, finally in 2011, Lungren and team discovered parts of the battleship, near the coast of a Swedish Island, Öland. It was tilted on its right and rested 246 feet below the water level. What caused the preservation of the Mars? Low levels of sediment, brackish water, slow currents, and absence of a mollusk called shipworm. Shipworm greatly causes the decay of wood. Its absence has been very favorable in the preservation of ship. However, there are many important facts yet to be discovered.
5. A New Chapter In Warship Technology
Researchers have records about sailing vessels from the 17th century but sadly not about those built just a century earlier. Hence, according to Johan Rönnby who is studying the 197-feet shipwreck, this study is a whole new chapter in the course of warship technology. The Mars stayed underwater for almost five centuries and despite that, many of its cannons were discovered in unexpectedly fine condition. Rönnby marks 16th century as an important period because that’s when the Mars and other similar galleons date back to. Were there more such galleons?
4. Mighty Even In Its Fall
There are other galleons and warships that date back to 16th century. But hardly any of them was found in as good condition as the Mars was. In one of the cases, the Mary Rose, an English flagship of Henry VIII, only bits and pieces were discovered. Mars was superior during its life, and even after its fall. For the same reason, taking it off the ocean surface was a crazy job.
3. The Herculean Task
It was no child’s play to bring a giant like the Mars up to the surface without causing further damage. Lundgren and Ocean Discovery Company understood this well and hence implemented their innovative methods of studying the sunken wreck. The same methods have now become the norms for such archaeological examinations. This team is attempting far deeper things.
2. The Future Of Oceanic Technology
Thanks to technology that the study is now more accurate and easier. Ocean Discovery is using 3-D scanning equipment and photographs to take laser scans. This enables documenting in detail with accuracy up to 0.8 inches (of the photograph/footage). Lungren and team see this technology as the future of oceanic archaeology. These techniques can be used to frame a reverse scene of the warship and understand how the damage might have affected the body of the ship and how the people on board might have dealt with such situation back in 1500s. There were some unimaginable facts that came to shore.
1. A Floating Graveyard
The warship was not just a medium to fight or defend but the entire battlefield itself. Rönnby very well relates to the outbreak of fire, screams of people, the killing, the explosions because he has seen the sunken wreckage as closely as one could possibly see. He even mentions the burning smell from one of the wooden pieces that was brought to the surface. Ronnby’s dream isto reconstruct the last moments of the sailor and the ship. There’s still a lot more that is to be unleashed and the team is all set to do it through more research efforts.
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