Digging History

Sunken treasures: From SS Minden to 'Columbus' anchor

A British crew discovered a chest inside wreckage of a German cargo ship -- and the chest may hold $130 million worth of Nazi gold, The Sun reported this week.

The purported find follows a number of other notable discoveries. Here are some that you should know about.

Florida family finds $1 million worth of treasure

In June 2015, the Schmitt family, together with a company named 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC, found $1 million in Spanish treasure off Fort Pierce, Florida Today reported. Eleven Spanish ships traveling to Havana, Cuba, sank in July 1715, when a hurricane took place.

More than 50 gold coins, along with 40 feet of gold chain and a coin known as a “Tricentennial Royal” that was created for  Spain's King Philip V were discovered, the newspaper said.

The Schmitt family are subcontractors with 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC, and earlier found treasure in 2013, including 50 feet of gold chain, according to the report.

EXPERTS UNCOVER EVIDENCE OF ANCIENT JERUSALEM'S DESTRUCTION BY THE BABYLONIANS

The Esmeralda

Oman’s Ministry of Heritage & Culture (MHC) and the British company Blue Water Recoveries Ltd. announced in March 2016 that The Esmeralda, a ship linked to Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, had been found.

The ship, which was piloted by da Gama’s uncle, Vicente Sodré, sank during a violent storm near al-Hallaniyah Island in the Indian Ocean in May 1503, killing everyone aboard.

The site was initially discovered in 1998, according to the MHC and Blue Water Recoveries press release. Starting in 2013, a team from Blue Water Recoveries and the MHC explored a site in the island's Ghubbat ar Rahib Bay. They later determined the debris found there came from the long-missing ship, one of two lost in the storm from da Gama's second voyage to India.

More than 2,800 artifacts were recovered, the release said, including a rare silver coin called an Indio - only two of which have been found.

EXPERTS HUNT FOR BIBLICAL TABERNACLE THAT HOUSED THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

Anchor ‘belonging’ to Christopher Columbus ship

An anchor weighing 1,200 to 1,500 pounds was found underwater off of Turks and Caicos -- and may have come from a Christopher Columbus ship, it was reported earlier this year.

A treasure map created by a late NASA astronaut, who had spotted anomalies from space he thought could be sunken ships, was used to find the anchor by treasure seeker Darrell Miklos and his crew. The anchor was featured in the Discovery program “Cooper’s Treasure” this spring. 

Miklos told Newsweek, “As soon as I saw it, I knew what it was: an early 1500s anchor. I knew in my mind that we were onto something so historically significant, just by the first line of site.”

Vicente Yanez Pinzon was captain of the Nina for Columbus’ 1492 expedition to the New World. A hurricane took place in July 1500 while his ships were around Turks and Caicos, and two of them were wrecked, Fox reported. 

Chest of ‘Nazi gold’ found in wreckage of SS Minden off of Iceland

A British crew found the chest in the SS Minden’s post room, according to The Sun. It may hold as much as four tons of gold from South American banks that were on the way to Germany in 1939, the newspaper said. The ship left Brazil in September 1939.

Advanced Marine Services has reportedly asked the Icelandic government for permission to make a hole in SS Minden’s hull and take the box out. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.