REUTERS/U.S. Library of Congress/Handout via Reuters

Could a sunken shipwreck off the coast of Haiti be the biggest discovery since 1492? Underwater explorer Barry Clifford claims he may have discovered one of the most significant ships in history, Christopher Columbus’ flagship Santa Maria.

The shipwreck was found in the exact area, off the north coast of Hispaniola, which is now Haiti, where Columbus said the Santa Maria ran aground on his first voyages to the Americas more than 500 years ago, Clifford reported to CNN. Stuck on a reef off Haiti’s northern coast, the wreck sits just 10 to 15 feet beneath the water’s surface.

Clifford and his team are working with the Haitian government to insure the site is protected and preserved. “Ideally, if excavations go well and depending on the state of preservation of any buried timber, it may ultimately be possible to lift any surviving remains of the vessel, fully conserve them and then put them on permanent public exhibition in a museum in Haiti,” Clifford told the Independent.

And that, of course, could play a major role to further growing tourism in Haiti, a country with a struggling economy and image.

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Follow the misadventures of Christopher Columbus to uncover more of his setbacks beyond Hispaniola during his discovery of the New World, from 1492 to 1504.

Curious about traveling to Haiti? Learn more about tourism in Haiti and what surprises this resilient Caribbean nation has to offer.

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2 Responses

  1. Denise says:

    Amazing!!

  2. this post is so great, thanks!

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Kathleen RellihanKathleen Rellihan is a digital producer, writer and editor for TravelChannel.com. A Washington, DC, resident, Kathleen's love for adventure travel has inspired her to go dog sledding in Quebec, search...

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