Check Out This Video of a 120 Year Old Shipwreck in Lake Superior
A barge that sank in Lake Superior has been discovered 120 years later.
The barge, named Barge 129, slipped under Lake Superior's surface on October 13th, 1902. Along with 8 other shipwrecks, it was originally discovered in 2021 but has only recently been confirmed as Barge 129 with video evidence.
What Happened to It?
This wasn't some dramatic shipwreck where the barge encountered an unseen iceberg interrupting the love story between a wealthy heiress and a poor artist. Barge 129 was actually being towed by a steamer because it was loaded with iron ore, according to shipwreckmuseum.com.
The ships encountered a storm that snapped the line between the two vessels. When the steamer, Maunaloa, turned around to attempt to reconnect the tow line, the waves pushed the two together causing the Maunaloa's anchor to rip into the side of Barge 129. The crew survived but the ship was lost.
Why Are People Talking About This?
When you're passionate about a particular field, any new discoveries in that field are bound to make you excited, right? That's the case here.
From what I've read, this barge didn't hold any major historical significance. However, it was unique because it was a Whaleback which wasn't a very common ship:
Again, this wreck was originally discovered back in 2021 by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. But now, we have a video showing what remains of Barge 129. Yes, there is some narration describing what you're looking at:
There's something so peaceful and yet very daunting about videos of wreckage that the world has long since forgotten. What I find especially incredible is the fact that the tow line, which snapped in that storm in 1902, remains mostly intact 120 years later.
You can find more information and see more pictures of Barge 129 here.
In the Great Lakes Region, there are an estimated 10,000 shipwrecks. Lake Superior is the final resting place for at least 350, half of which have yet to be discovered, according to the Minnesota Historical Society.
With wrecks dating back to the 1800s, who knows what might be discovered next?
Since it's October, I know a lot of water activities will most likely come to a pause until the weather warms up. However, when it does, if you love exploring shipwrecks there are several you can actually paddle to by kayak or paddleboard in West Michigan:
Sometimes ships don't sink but are, rather, abandoned and eventually turn into "ghost ships". Here's one that was found on the Black River: