National Geographic: Treasures of the Deep


Thousands of feet beneath the seven seas

lies the history of the world buried

in the wreckage of lost ships.

It is a realm of precious artifacts

and priceless treasures.

A world of ancient mysteries long

beyond our grasp.

Until today.

Now the sunken marvels

of the ocean deep are up for grabs,

from ancient Roman ships to

Spanish galleons

to luxury liners like the Titanic.

I dream about gold and

emeralds every night.

And you gotta believe it's there

and you gotta want it bad.

Some people are out to plunder the past.

While others archeologists

and scientists

like the man who first found

the Titanic, are out to preserve it.

They are all armed with million-dollar

high-tech tools,

and the will to spend years

on the arduous search.

Just running out on a boat

with a metal detector

and hoping to jump over the side and

pull up a beached basket of gold coins

that's stuff of fantasy and Hollywood.

that really doesn't happen very often.

It is a world where controversy reigns

where there are confusing laws

and no rules.

Does anyone have a right

to excavate shipwrecks?

Should the past be protected?

Or should it be picked clean for profit?

So it's a very big difference

between doing something to

fill in a missing chapter

in human history

and doing it for personal greed.

Explorers and archeologists.

Entrepreneurs and salvagers.

Some will risk everything

reputation, fortune, even their lives

to possess the treasures of the deep.

The Mediterranean Sea.

On its shores grew the great

civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

And from its banks,

ancient peoples sailed beyond the

safety of land in small wooden ships.

For hundreds of years,

Roman ships controlled these waters,

creating a vast empire.

But the moods of the sea are harsh

and unpredictable,

and a Roman vessel 100 feet long

had no defenses against storm

and wave and wind.

Over the centuries,

countless ships were lost

and countless sailors killed.

Now the man who discovered the Titanic

Dr. Robert Ballard,

is again hunting for shipwrecks,

ancient shipwrecks in the Mediterranean.

For hundreds of years,

scientists have looked

in the ocean for our history.

And for most of that time

they've only been able to

look a very short distance

of one or 200 feet,

which represents an insignificant

amount of the ocean.

And what we're trying to accomplish is

something that's never been done before

and this is to try to excavate a ship

of antiquity

that is thousands of feet

beneath the sea.

To bring up ancient vessels

buried a half-mile down.

It's never been done before

and Ballard only has five short weeks

to do it.

You know, it's ironic that we have

sent robots to Mars

and we've mapped the far side of Venus

in fact, that we know more about

the moon's surface than the ocean.

To make the impossible happen

Ballard will need a floating

laboratory as mission central.

The Carolyn Chouest, a U.S. Navy vessel,

will journey 80 miles west of Sicily

into international waters,

where no one has a claim on lost vessels.

Ballard believes the Mediterranean

is strewn with ancient wrecks

and he has long dreamed of finding one

We're sitting right now in ruins

that are on the island of Sicily.

To get to Rome you have to cross

the Tyrrhenian Sea;

to get to Carthage you have to cross

the Straits of Sicily.

To travel from civilization to

civilization here in the Mediterranean

you must cross the Mediterranean,

and many of those ships didn't make it

Many of those ships went to the bottom

and many of them went into the deep sea.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "National Geographic: Treasures of the Deep" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <>.

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