An international maritime archaeology team from the University of Southampton conducting an expedition around the Black Sea accidentally discovered 40 perfectly preserved ancient shipwrecks from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.
According to the University of Southampton, the expedition was using a well-equipped off-shore vessel, surveying the Black Sea to study the rise of water levels after the last Ice Age, which was 20,000 years ago.
The team reportedly discovered dozens of shipwrecks 1,800 meters below the surface of the Black Sea, which are all reported to be in mint condition due to the low level of oxygen. While some of the ships are reportedly thousands of years old, others date back to the Ottoman Empire.
The principal investigator of the project Professor Jon Adams said in a statement that the shipwrecks were 'a complete bonus and a fascinating discovery.'
Adams added: "Certainly no one has achieved models of this completeness on shipwrecks at these depths."
The expedition was reportedly launched to study water levels and their effects on the people living in the region.
Scientists and archaeologists carry out extensive research in the Black Sea, which has served as a strategic trade route by many civilizations and was used by the Hittites, Romans, Byzantines, Goths, Crusaders, Ottomans, Venetians and Russians.