Have you ever been out to the Greek archipelago of Fourni? We'll forgive you if you haven't. But, you may want to book a trip out there soon, because as LiveScience reports, just a few weeks ago an incredible discovery was made just off of these remote shores.
In September, George Koutsouflakis (right) and Peter Campbell (center) went on a little expedition. They hoped to discover shipwrecks along the ocean floor. They surmised that, if they could manage to find three, the trip would be considered a success.
...But the wrecks didn't stop there. Over the next five days, the team had found another nine more! Koutsouflakis later recounted, "We expected a successful season, but no one was prepared for this. Shipwrecks were found literally everywhere."
In fact, it began to seem like the ocean floor was more debris than sand. As Peter Campbell later told the Washington Post, "There's this moment that you see something, a straight line that doesn't look natural, and your eye kind of flips over. You realize it's an ancient pot or ancient anchor, then you notice this stuff is everywhere."
By the end of their 13-day survey, the team has discovered a staggering 22 shipwrecks in all! To put that in perspective, as Campbell told the Sun, that now accounts for 12% of the world's total known ancient Greek shipwrecks.
The team sent out a press release declaring that the Fourni archipelago "may be the ancient shipwreck capital of the world."
The press release continued, "For comparison, the United States recently created a national marine sanctuary in Lake Michigan to protect 39 known shipwrecks located in 875 square miles. Fourni now has 22 known shipwreck in islands with an area of 17 square miles."
What good does that do? Well, lots, actually. According to Sci-News, the team "mapped each wreck using photogrammetry to create 3D site plans." Now, they can explore the remains digitally while leaving the precious site undisturbed.
And those few items that were removed from the site can be analyzed to determine what kind of goods they were originally transporting. Wine? Oil? Fish sauce? Slush Puppy mix? (Hey, we're just spitballing, here.)