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Miners Discover 500-Year-Old Shipwreck Full of Gold In The Namibian Desert

Jun 09, 2016 06:53 AM EDT
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A group of diamond miners in the Namibian desert recently discovered a 500-year-old shipwreck loaded with gold coins.
(Photo : Pezibear / Pixabay)

Diamond miners in Africa discovered a 500-year-old shipwreck full of gold coins worth $13,000,000.

The Bom Jesus, or Good Jesus, was first discovered in April 2008 in the Namibian coast near Oranjemund by a group of geologists from the mining company De Beers.

The miners found the ship after draining the man-made saltwater lake along the Skeleton Coast. While shipwrecks are not necessarily a new thing in this part of Africa, this ship, however, was so far the oldest and the first to be loaded down with gold coins and ivory tusks.

"Having first started doing archaeological work... for the mine in 1996, I had at that point been preaching to them for a dozen years that 'one day' they would find a shipwreck, and to let me know when they do," Dr. Dieter Noli, chief archaeologist of the Southern Africa Institute of Maritime Archaeology Research, told FoxNews.com.

The miners first found strange pieces of wood and metal on the beach, and then later discovered the shipwreck buried under the sand.

On the sixth day, the miners found the treasure chest full of gold.

"Academic arguments are all very well, but once you have literally filled your hat with an 25.5 pound mixture of Spanish and Portuguese gold coins (there were indeed swords as well), the value of the site is no longer in doubt," Noli said.

The Bom Jesus was a Portuguese ship that went missing 500 years ago while en route to India. The ship was loaded with Portuguese, Spanish, Florentine and Venetian gold and silver currencies, swords and knives, clothing, West African ivory tusks, and 44,000 pounds of German copper ingots when it sank at the bottom of the ocean.

According to Noli, the ship might have sunk because of too much heavy cargo and bad weather. The treasure chest, however, managed to sink intact to the seabed.

The treasure will be entrusted with the Namibian government after the Portuguese government generously waived the right.

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