If, like us, most of what you know about old sea ships and vessels comes from Pirates Of The Caribbean, you’re probably not sure if sunken treasure and pirate booty is actually a real thing. Well, it turns out it is.
In 1708, a Spanish ship called ‘The San Jose’ was sunk by British forces off the coast of Columbia. The San Jose has been referred to as the “Holy Grail of ship wrecks”—and now, 307 years after it went under, Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos has announced that the wreck has been found, near the coast of Caribbean port city Cartegena. The ship reportedly has a cargo of gold, silver and jewels estimated to be worth between $4 billion and $17 billion.
As you might expect, with that much dollar just sitting there under the ocean, there’s some dispute over who owns it. An American salvage company called Sea Search Armada have been in a long-running legal battle with the Columbian government, after they past a law saying any treasure they found belonged to the state. There’s no word yet if that will come into play with the San Jose, but with $17 billion at stake, plenty of parties might claim ownership f they can.