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You don't need to scuba dive to see these 15 spectacular shipwrecks
Posted on 26/09/2018


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There's no need for a wetsuit to visit these incredible shipwrecks, and their stories might just be more interesting than their haunting skeletons.

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  • Sydney, Australia
    Sydney, Australia

    None of the ships on this list have embraced nature quite like the SS Ayrfield. At 102 years old, this abandoned vessel in Sydney Harbour was never broken down for scrap. A mangrove forest has made its home in the ship's hull, and the ship is slowly being reclaimed by the trees.

  • Aralkum Desert, Uzbekistan
    Aralkum Desert, Uzbekistan

    The Aral Sea began retreating in 1960 when the Soviet Union diverted its water for irrigation. The vast Aralkum Desert has now taken its place, and many vessels were left behind to decay on the sand. The youngest desert in the world stretches 17,000 square miles, leaving these ghostly ships with nowhere to go.

  • San Gregorio, Chile
    San Gregorio, Chile

    The Ambassador was a tea ship that once ran between China and England. It was beached in southern Chile at the end of the 1800s, and its remains lie rusting on the sand.

  • Boa Vista, Cape Verde
    Boa Vista, Cape Verde

    In 1968, the Cabo Santa Maria found itself in shallow water on its way to Brazil and Argentina. This rusty freighter on Praia de Atalanta was carrying everything from porcelain to sports cars intended as gifts from Spanish dictator Francisco Franco to his supporters abroad. It took almost a year for all of the items to be safely unloaded from the vessel, and now its disintegrating hull has become a symbol of Boa Vista Island and a tourist attraction.

  • Wales, United Kingdom
    Wales, United Kingdom

    This wreck doesn't look like much from afar. Its wooden skeleton is slowly rotting away, half-submerged in sand and only visible at low tide. But the ghostly remains of the Helvetica still strike a fascinating silhouette amid the flat landscape of Rhossili in Wales. The ship was swept onto the shore after hitting a sandbar during rough seas on an October night in 1887.


Unless you're traveling for pleasure, the age of long-distance boat journeys is no more. Technological advances and an increase in air travel have also made it easier and safer to transport goods from one country to another. But the fascinating remnants of a bygone era still remain strewn across these beaches around the world.

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