It’s in near-perfect condition.
The earth is a wonderful place, but many wonders have yet to reveal themselves. That is because we tend to live on dry land, and very few of us ever get the opportunity to venture under the water, where the true wonders exist.
On occasion, we are given the opportunity to see under the waters and what it has to offer. This was seen recently in Norway, as researchers found something on the bottom of Lake Mjøsa that is nothing short of amazing.
Lake Mjøsa is no small body of water. It covers some 140 mi.², so there is a lot to it that has yet to be discovered.
Recently, however, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology were working with the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. They uncovered a secret that has been hiding for a long time.
According to a Facebook post from the Norwegian Defense Research Institute, the researchers were participating in a two-week study when they saw a shipwreck hiding at the bottom of the lake for centuries. The ship seemed to be in perfect condition and ready to give up her secrets.
The Hugin, an autonomous underwater vehicle, found the ship at a depth of some 1350 feet. Scientists looked into it carefully using sonar imaging and felt that it was about 8.2 feet wide and 33 feet long.
They don’t know exactly how old the ship is, but they think it may be between 200 and 700 years old. That’s quite a range, but archaeologists could look at the stern and notice something shipbuilders used after the 13th century.
Before the 13th century, most shipbuilders were building Viking ships. Those ships were essentially the same on the front and the back. That is not the case with this ship. In addition, a Norse technique seems to have been used to make this ship. That technique overlapped the hull planks and was seen on the wreckage.
This is one of the deepest ships ever found on Lake Mjøsa, as most others were only at a depth of 100 feet or less. They found this one in the middle of the lake. It likely sunk due to a storm.
Fortunately, the water in Lake Mjøsa is freshwater, so it was able to preserve the ship for longer than if it had sunk in the ocean. This fact was noted by a marine archaeologist, Øyvind Ødegård.
Ødegård also said in Science Norway: “The metal may rust, and the ship may lose its structure, but the wood is intact. A similar ship to the one we now found would not have survived for more than a few decades if it had gone down on the coast. So if we are going to find a Viking shipwreck in Norway, then Mjøsa is probably the place with the most potential for such a find.”
They weren’t looking for the ship when they found it. The researchers were looking for ammunition and explosives that may have been dumped in the lake in the mid-1900s.
About 100,000 people rely on the lake for drinking water, so finding the munitions would have been important for keeping the integrity of the water intact.
It still shouldn’t be a surprise that they found the boat because the lake was used as a trading route throughout the history of Norway.
Bad weather caused the team to miss out on an opportunity to get more images of the ship, but they plan on returning next year.