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   xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Apr 15 12:21 AM

Apr 15th, 2017: Down to Mars

Down? You mean up.
No down, about 75 meters(246 ft) in the cold, brackish, slow moving water where there are no wood-eating worms, 18 km (11miles)
off the Swedish island of Öland, in the Baltic Sea. Brrr, doesn’t sound like a popular snorkeling or free diving destination. It’s not, maybe
that’s why the Mars has been unmolested for 450 years.

Named after the Roman god of war, Mars was one of the largest battleships in the world when it was built, even larger than the famous Swedish ship Vasa. The ship was commissioned by the King of Sweden, Erik XIV, in 1563. With a length of 48 meters, and 107 guns on board, it was the leading ship of Sweden's fleet.
On 30 May, 1564, Mars became engaged in a naval battle with a Danish-Lübeck fleet off the northern tip of Öland. The first day of the battle, the Swedes emerged victorious over the Danes, but on the second day, German forces retaliated by lobbing fireballs at the Mars setting the ship ablaze. Mars, being a battleship, had carried large quantities of gunpowder which spontaneously exploded causing the ship’s destruction. Mars sank to the depth carrying with it more than 700 crewmen and several hundred Danes who had successfully boarded the burning ship.

Mars belonged to the first generation of Europe's big, three-masted warships that naval historians know very little about like how the crew, officers and senior management of the ship lived on board, and what tools, equipment and personal effects they used. The 1500s were also the time when guns and other weapons were being developed using iron and bronze—a very precious metal at that time. The wreck of Mars represents the largest source of knowledge of 16th century weapons technology and that of life onboard and the crew. "It's a missing link," says Johan Rönnby, a professor of maritime archaeology at Södertörn University in Sweden, who is studying the wreck.

SPUCK  Monday Apr 24 03:22 AM

Wow... Just wow.

Griff  Monday Apr 24 07:47 AM

Yeah, what a time capsule.

Clodfobble  Monday Apr 24 08:23 AM

The brightly-lit picture from above is all well and good, but the diver with the one headlamp is what it's really like. I would find all that pitch blackness around me to be creepy as fuck.

Beest  Monday Apr 24 09:29 AM

If the ship was set on fire, I don't think the gunpowder 'spontaneously exploded'.

footfootfoot  Monday Apr 24 09:34 AM

I wonder if that bronze would explode like the steel cannonballs?

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