Perplexed diamond miners working off the coast of Africa stumbled upon a treasurein; a 500 year old shipwreck loaded with gold worth a whopping $9 million.
The ship is appropriately named Bom Jesus; meaning Good Jesus, as it is nothing less than a miracle from the supreme up above as described by the miners who made the monumental discovery.
Geologists at the mining company De Beers were the first to recognize and find the ship; they did so in April 2008 off the coast of Namibia not far from Oranjemund.
The ship belongs to the Golden era of Portuguese sailors and explorers who set sail in all directions in search of new lands to colonize and capitalize from. Under Sir Francisco de Noronha’s direction, the Bom Jesus sailed from Lisbon at some point in 1533, but while en route to India, the ship vanished into thin air, taking with it its priceless cargo, which was lost.
This was not the only wreckage discovered by the miners from the site; a number of others discoveries were also made near the region. A difficult task for the miners was to drain a man-made salt lake, and as the lake dried up, several abandoned ships were discovered at the lake’s bottom.
However Bom Jesus was the oldest. The discovery was not a sudden event; the miners first found many strange pieces of the ships and other old artifacts lying on the beach. The actual treasure was found once miners dug the sand and unearthed the remaining part of the ship buried under tons of sand.
Six arduous days of digging and uncovering finally paid off in the form of a vast golden trove; it took the miners a full week from the day they discovered the early evidence of shipwreck spread over the beach before they could lay their hands on the gold coins and ivory tusks.
The discovery of Bom Jesus is hailed as the most significant shipwreck of all times due to its age and the plethora of gold it contained on board. The site has earned a position on UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage.
The treasure of Bom Jesus contains a whole variety of different items from many countries and places around the world. The cargo on board Bom Jesus contains Ivory from West Africa, Copper ingots of German origin, gold coins from Portugal, Spain, and Venice.
A plethora of silver coins, weaponry including knives and high-quality swords also form the treasure along with personal belongings of the crew and some skeletons of the perished men. Some astrological instruments, musket compasses, some bronze bowls, and long metal poles that were employed in the ship’s construction were also discovered among the wreckage.
Some astrological instruments, musket compasses, some bronze bowls, and long metal poles that were employed in the ship’s construction were also discovered among the wreckage. However, Portugal authorities showed immense generosity and stood down from its right over the treasure and allowed the Namibian government to keep it.