This mysterious lake is called Erie. This is one of the most navigable inland waterways in the world. In addition, due to witnessing many disasters, Lake Erie is also likened to a “graveyard” in the Great Lakes region.
Although the second smallest in the Five Great Lakes system (5 large lakes account for nearly 20% of the world’s surface fresh water), it is estimated by some archaeologists and historians that the number of shipwrecks at the lake Erie can go up to 2,500 pieces.
So far, researchers have found only 277 shipwrecks. However, this list is constantly being added to as underwater explorers conduct aerial and underwater searches from both sides of the US-Canada border.
About 2,500 ships sunk in Lake Erie. Photo: NASA
Lake Erie first became an important transportation route in North America in the 18th century. This lake covers the area from western New York to northern Ohio and southern Michigan, USA. This meant it provided quick inland waterways for merchants and adventurers.
According to experts, it is possible that most of the ships sunk in Lake Erie in the 17th and 18th centuries. However, most of these ships were quite small and this makes it difficult for divers today to find them. . Therefore, exploration and restoration activities focus on ships that sank at the bottom of Lake Erie in the 19th and 20th centuries.
One of the most famous shipwreck finds at Lake Erie occurred seven years ago. At that time, the Museum of the Five Lakes in Toledo, Ohio, announced that a ship that went missing 186 years ago had finally been found.
Experts discovered Lake Serpent, a shipwreck nearly 200 years ago in Lake Erie. Photo: AP
Before that, in September 1829, a 14-meter-long ship called the Lake Serpent left Cleveland for Cunningham Island, 88 kilometers away. After being loaded with limestone, this ship sailed back to Cleveland but was suddenly hit by a storm and sank somewhere on the way back.
In 2015, Tom Kowalczk, an expert with the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE) archaeological team, discovered something unusual while scanning an area of the lake bottom near Kelleys Island (the current name of Cunningham Island). When CLUE divers approached, they found the remains of the wooden ship.
Image of the Lake Serpent ship before it sank. Photo: Ancientorigins
In particular, divers also found two pieces of evidence identifying the ship as the Lake Serpent. First, they discovered an intricate carving of a snake on the bow of the ship. This matches historical records of the Lake Serpent’s characteristics. Second, divers found some limestone rocks still lying in the hold of the ship. It is the kind that was still extracted from the islands of Lake Erie in the late 1820s.
Up to now, Lake Serpent is the oldest shipwreck recovered from Lake Erie.
Another hot spot for archaeologists to explore Lake Erie is the Manitou Passage, a waterway located close to the coast of Traverse City, Michigan. Accordingly, in the 19th century, this route once claimed the lives of many sailors on ships carrying timber from one port to another.
“Nightmare” crosses the Bermuda triangle
“We think Lake Erie has a greater density of shipwrecks than anywhere else in the world,” said Kevin Magee, co-founder of CLUE and an engineer at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. even the Bermuda Triangle”.
Experts believe that sudden storms and unpredictable changes in waves may be the main reason for the number of shipwrecks in Lake Erie.
The ship James McBride went missing in a storm in 1857 on Lake Erie. Photo: Mitch Brown
Lake Erie is named after the first Native Americans encountered by European explorers in the 17th century.
This lake was also an important battlefield in the war between the US and Britain in 1812. According to experts, some of the shipwrecks currently scattered on the lake bottom may have been warships sunk in this war. . However, to date, no ships of this period have been recovered.
Furthermore, increasing urbanization along the lake’s shores contributed to trade and fishing activities in the 19th century. This also led to a large increase in the number of shipwrecks. In fact, many ships were wrecked by big waves during sudden storms in the Great Lakes region.
Archaeologists estimate that about 80% of the shipwrecks in Lake Erie are still located in the underwater “graveyard” and have not been discovered. In general, shipwrecks in Lake Erie are usually located quite close to the water because the lake is relatively shallow. While easy to spot from the lake surface or visible from above, these sunken ships are also subject to stronger erosion effects from large waves and warm water temperatures.
Expert Kevin Magee explains: “One of the most impressive things about the shipwrecks of Lake Erie or the Great Lakes of North America is that they are very well preserved thanks to the cold and clean water. This makes the decomposition process easier. Destruction slows down. There are even shipwrecks that have been lying on the bottom of the lake for hundreds of years but are still almost intact.”
Experts are still working to unlock the mystery of the “graveyard” of Lake Erie, where about 2,500 ships have been wrecked. However, so far, no one can be sure to give an explanation for this mysterious lake.
The consecutive shipwrecks that occurred on Lake Erie made many people suspicious of a mysterious sea monster called Bessie. Photo: Mysteriousuniverse
The monster of Lake Erie?
Although it is the shallowest of the Five Great Lakes, Lake Erie is the place that has recorded the most shipwrecks in history.
Specifically, in the 1980s, in a number of shipwrecks, someone encountered a strange creature in Lake Erie and named it Bessie monster. This strange creature is described as snake-like, huge in size with a head the size of a car.
In 1992, in an incident that left three people missing in Lake Erie, many people believe that Bessie attacked these victims. However, until now, this monster is real or not is still an unsolved mystery.
Articles source references: Ancientorigins, Mysteriousuniverse