With Memorial Day coming up, a special day of remembrance for those who have died before us, many people will be making trips to cemeteries to show their respect and to decorate graves. But what about those graves at the bottom of the ocean or other bodies of water which are nearly impossible to visit? We thought to pay tribute to those who perished and remain underwater. Here we dive for eerie underwater graves to view submerged skeletons.
Cremated Human Remains – Neptune Society
(image credit: jacksonville)
There are people who make the decision to have an underwater grave. In fact, cremation companies like the Neptune Society offer their customers such an option. People can choose to have their ashes entombed in the largest artificial reef off the coast of Miami. That way, a person helps reduce their body’s impact on the earth while also promoting sea life after death.
Underwater Bones Decades of Dinner
Studies on whale carcasses on the seafloor have proven that each skeleton supports a biological abundance, a deep-sea ecosystem. Whale cadavers have been sunk in the name of research. Science News Online summed up oceanographer Craig Smith’s findings. “Instead of grass giving way to shrubs that yield to the trees of forests, whale falls first nourish such scavengers as hagfish, then bone-eating zombie worms, and eventually the clams” which live near a deep-ocean vent. Left to nature, skeletons simply return to the earth and seem to “disappear.”
On the bottom right, photographer Bill Reals captured the image of a 10,500 year old human skeleton in a underwater Yucatan cave. Since people and animals used to live in caves, and now some of those caves are hidden underwater, that is where some human skeletal remains have been discovered. Finding human skeletons underwater is far from common. In fact, considering how much water covers the globe, finding human remains is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.
(image credit: gue)
Photographer Uli Kunz shot this 2009 winner for Global Underwater Explorers picture of year. It features diver Henning May at Germany’s largest aquarium, Ozeaneum. The skeleton is of a sperm whale which had become stranded in the North Sea and perished. Ozeaneum holds 2.6 million liters of seawater and a variety of fish from the Atlantic Ocean.
(image credits: underwater,divebums,divebums)
We would expect to see skeletal remains from creatures that live in the water. The “Skinny Turtle,” on the left, is described as Turtle Skeleton in the Turtle Tomb and was found near Sipadan, Malaysia. On the top right is the skeletal remains of a wolf eel. The bottom right is an “unidentified skeletal piece” found near the Marine Room of the shipwrecked La Jolla.
Atlantis Found & Giant Skeleton Hoax?
(image credits: barracuadz,tutuz)
Although it was a hoax, it was widely reported that the National Geographic Society had unearthed skeletons of ancient giant humans. It spread like wildfire across the web because people wanted to believe in it. People also believe in Atlantis and some spend their lives trying to find it. American Atlantologist Dan Clark believed he had discovered Atlantis and the top image is supposedly of Atlantis. Part of his conclusion relied on the underwater discovery of a “skeleton of human height 3.5 meters.” With so many hoaxes, the facts can escape us; the ocean is a giant graveyard where rarely anyone pays tribute on Memorial Day.
First reported as Holloway
(image credit: stephww)
During a diving trip in Aruba, a Pennsylvania couple snapped what they thought might be the remains of missing American teen Natalee Holloway. If it was not her skeletal remains, then whose? It could be a rock formation, but there is no doubt that the sea holds many secrets and many skeletons.
(image credits: portal.unesco,wetpixel)
Throughout time, ships have sailed, been shipwrecked and have sunk. Countless human lives have been lost and the sea is their underwater grave. Organizations like UNESCO work to protect the underwater cultural heritage. Professional scuba divers, those people who dive for fun, treasure hunters, and underwater archeologists bring us magnificent photos from the ocean depths. Tim Digger captured the bottom image of the SS Carnatic which ran aground on an island in the Red Sea. 31 people drowned.
(image credits: advanced diver magazine,utexas,national geographic)
Underwater archaeologists discovered the screaming skull, at top left, along with 18 human skeletal remains of a Mayan sacrifice near Mexico. The discovery was called The Well of Time. On the top right, the discovery was called the Well of Sacred Waters. It revealed multiple human remains. At the bottom left, the nearly complete human skeleton was found atop the anchor line in the bow. The skeleton was part of the shipwrecked La Belle, which sunk off the coast of Texas in 1686. On the bottom right, the female skeleton was found deep inside an underwater cave in Mexico. Her remains were called Eve of Naharon and were dated at 13,600 years old, making her the oldest human skeleton ever found in the Americas.
Underwater: Neolithic Woman & Infant
(image credits: LiveScience)
The above images show the 9,000 year old excavated skeletons of a Neolithic woman and an infant buried with her. Researchers discovered tuberculosis on the bones. That makes this woman and her infant the oldest known and confirmed TB cases. Their remains were found submerged in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Israel, where the ancient Atlit-Yam village once existed.
(image credits: petemesley,petemesley)
Diver and photographer Pete Mesley reported that Truk Lagoon was one of the best diving experiences in his life. Along the remains of one shipwreck, they found much more than skeleton shipwreck bones. They found human skeletal remains at Yamagiri Maru. “Probably one of the most shocking sights of the dive was the human skull in the engine room which was embedded into one of the machine mountings. Other human remains lay on ledges. Another grim reminder of the terror of death.”
Underwater Archaeology in Submerged Wells & Caves
This is the entrance UNESCO divers used for a submerged carst cave in Mexico. UNESCO heritage includes underwater artifacts and traces of ancient human life preserved in flooded caves. The caves have either always been submerged or have been flooded by the rise of the sea.
These divers are in a submerged cave, a cenote, in Mexico.
This is the ‘Tux kapaxa cave’ in Mexico, where ancient traces of human presence and ancient fauna were discovered underwater.
On the left, a diver holds a human skull which was found underwater in a Mexican cave. Pictured on the right, a diver swims near human remains in a cenote.
(image credits: unesco)
On the bottom is the skull of the “woman of Muknal,” dated 10,000 BC. It was also discovered by an archeologist in a Mexican cenote.