Gold-Filled Wreck Found in Finland: Photos

The newly found wreck had carried 10,000 gold coins and massive gold jewelry — a treasure estimated to be worth more than $150 million today.

A team of archaeologist divers say they have found the wreck of the treasure filled Hanneke Wrome, one of two ships that left Luebeck, Germany, for Tallinn, Estonia, on Nov. 11, 1468, south of the Finnish island of Jussarö.

According to historic documents, strong east winds, actually very rare in Finland, caught both vessels. While the other ship managed to get to Tallinn, the Hanneke Wrome drowned in the storm with more than 200 passengers and crew. It was one of the major maritime disasters of its time.

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Archival documents record the Hanneke Wrome was carrying various merchandise such as 200 parcels of fabric and 1,200 barrels of honey when it sank. The documents also stated the cargo included 10,000 gold coins and massive gold jewellery — a treasure estimated to be worth more than $150 million today.

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The wreck was found by Rauno Koivusaari, an experienced wreck researcher who also discovered the treasure-filled Vrouw Maria in 1999. "The wreck is scattered in east-west direction, confirming the dynamic of the sinking during the eastern storm," Koivusaari told Discovery News.

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Measuring some 130 feet in length, the Hanneke Wrome appears in an underwater video shot by Koivusaari's team. The footage shows well-preserved sections of the wooden hull and even an anchor. "The wreck has more than one mast, perhaps even three. I could see a joint knee integrated with the ship ribs. This is strange, but really nobody knows much of this ship style," Koivusaari said.

Shipwreck Yields Bonanza of Gold Bars & Coins