500 Years Later, Columbus’ Ships Still Lost to History

More than half a year after Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue, the physical remains of three of his ships – Nina, ns pinta, And this Santa Maria – are lost in history.

A 15th-century explorer landed in the present-day Bahamas on October 12, 1492, marking the end of the pre-Columbian era in the New World.

According to National Geographic, the three ocean-going sailing ships have never been found – despite what has been a lifetime search for curious archaeologists and shipwreck chasers.

No one knows whether the ships, two of which eventually returned to Europe, perished, if they survived or were eventually destroyed.

If Columbus’ ships had sunk in an area like the Caribbean, they would have easily been eaten by a species of wood-eating mollusk known as the “termites of the sea,” the magazine reported.

A chromolithograph by Louis Prang & Co.
A chromolithograph by Louis Prang & Co.
Bateman Archive

And 500 years of stormtroopers won’t be the Hulk’s friend of the beach, either, archaeologist Donald Keith told the magazine.

“Ships lost in cold, deep, deep water have a better chance of remaining intact and retaining their ‘time capsule’ value,” he said.

A 15th-century explorer landed in the present-day Bahamas on October 12, 1492, marking the end of the pre-Columbian era in the New World.
A 15th-century explorer landed in the present-day Bahamas on October 12, 1492, marking the end of the pre-Columbian era in the New World.
Getty Images

Only the fate of Santa Maria is known. The 150-ton ship, the largest in Columbus’ fleet, landed in present-day Haiti on Christmas Day, 1492. Columbus ordered to seize it, using its woods to build a village, which he named La Navidad.

it is unknown if Nina And this pinta, which were small caravels, never returned to the New World after their voyage, or if they sailed elsewhere.

A photograph of a replica of the Pinta, the three-masted caravel, one of Columbus' three ships.
A photograph of a replica of the Pinta, the three-masted caravel, one of Columbus’ three ships.
Getty Images

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