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Scientists baffled after finding mysterious shipwreck under 9/11 ruins

Scientists baffled after finding mysterious shipwreck under 9/11 ruins

It wasn't for several years after the 9/11 attacks that the shipwreck was discovered

Scientists were left baffled by what they found under the ruins of the two World Trade Center buildings that collapsed during the devastating 9/11 attacks.

The terrorist attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center shook and horrified the world.

Over the years, a greater focus was homed in on terrorism from politicians and security specialist with military efforts ramped up.

People across the globe grieved the 2,996 lives lost, with the falling of the twin towers having a tragic impact.

And that’s probably why it wasn’t until several years later from the 11 September 2001 attacks that something rather mysterious was found beneath the ruins.

When construction workers were rebuilding the site in 2010, they stumbled upon an old wooden ship. Yes, a literal shipwreck beneath the World Trade Center.

In 2010, when construction workers were rebuilding the site, they stumbled upon an old wooden ship.
LMDC/Columbia University

Obviously the main question was just how did a centuries-old ship end up 22 feet beneath the New York landmark? Archaeologists immediately got investigating.

After four years of digging, analysing, and studying, scientists were able to determine that the ship had been built in the 1770s - around the same era as the Declaration of Independence.

Researchers also determined that the type of oak used to build the ship would have come from Philadelphia.

Strangest of all was that the rings on the wooden hull matched other samples of wood rings that had been used to build Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed.

The wreck was found way below the World Trade Center.
Jeremy Walker/Getty Images

The mysterious ship was later identified as a Hudson River sloop, which would have been designed by the Dutch to carry cargo and passengers over the Hudson river's rocky floor.

So, how on earth did it end up there?

Well, it's believed that after 20 to 30 years of service, the ship was sailed to the lower Manhattan area where it sunk.

Historians still aren't sure whether the ship sank accidentally or was purposefully submerged.

In the decades that followed, the ship's remains were covered with rubbish, debris, and other materials like rock and soil that were used to expand the area of Manhattan.

Years after 9/11, the strange discovery was made beneath the rubble.

Oysters were also found on the hull of the ship, suggesting it was submerged for quite some time before it was buried with trash and landfill to form the land that the Twin Towers would eventually be built on.

Speaking to CNN about the discovery back in 2014, archaeologist Molly McDonald, who was among those who first discovered the ship, said: "It’s such an intense site already based on its recent history, so to be in the midst of this urban, modern, very fraught location, and then to be sitting on what was a river bottom, with clams and fish, and the smell of low tide, was really an amazing juxtaposition."

Today, the remains of the ship are being conserved and exhibited in Albany at the New York State Museum, so you can marvel at the bizarre discovery for yourself.

Featured Image Credit: LMDC/Columbia University/ABC

Topics: Science, US News, World News