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The Best Underwater Wrecks to Explore in the World

Underwater wrecks, mysterious and fascinating, are gateways to the past waiting to be explored. How many of these wrecks await discovery in the vast expanses of the ocean? The answer might surprise you, and we’ll tell you more below.

From the majestic grandeur of ships sunk in World War II to underwater wrecks you can visit with Dressel Divers in the Caribbean, including underwater plane wrecks and even a train. They all offer a unique window into history. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most famous underwater wrecks in the world.

Are you going to miss it?

Underwater Wrecks - pecios (adorno)

1. How Many Underwater Wrecks Are There in The World

The seabed hides a whopping: over three million wrecks, or so UNESCO believes! Mind you, we’ve barely explored a meager 1% of them.

The World Database of Maritime Wrecks records over 250,000 documented sunken wrecks, but there are certainly millions more of unnamed wrecks out there. And it’s logical to assume so, as it’s estimated that in the Second World War alone, 15,000 ships went down. The Atlantic leads in the number of underwater wrecks, followed by the South China Sea, the Black Sea, and the Pacific.

The potential for adventure is endless. Who knows what stories these hidden wrecks will tell us? A cargo ship full of war motorcycles? A transatlantic liner with a cargo of fine porcelain? Not to mention wrecks sunk for the enjoyment of divers. The possibilities are as exciting as the depths of the sea.

2. The Most Famous Underwater Wrecks

These are some of the most mind-blowing and famous underwater wrecks on the planet.

  1. RMS Titanic resting beneath the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean

Let’s start with the Titanic, that unsinkable giant which tragically failed on its maiden voyage. This wreck lies 12,467 ft/ 3799m deep in the North Atlantic. While only accessible to skilled technicians and manned submersibles, exploring it is like stepping back in time to one of the most notorious maritime disasters.

2. SS Yongala, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

But fear not, there are options for divers of all levels. Let’s talk about the SS Yongala on the Great Barrier Reef. It sits 98 ft/30m below the surface. This This 360 ft / 110m wreck is adorned with corals and has become home to giant groupers, eagle rays, turtles, and even manta rays!

3. SS Thistlegorm, Red Sea

And if you’re into wartime history, the SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea awaits you with its World War II artifacts (including locomotive trains, trucks, motorcycles, airplane wings, and more) in an incredibly preserved state at 98 ft/30m. deep. Plus, the marine life there will leave you in awe.

4. USAT Liberty, Bali, Indonesia

For those seeking something more exotic, the USAT Liberty in Bali is an artificial paradise teeming with marine creatures that have taken over this sunken US Army ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. The remains of this underwater wreck start at a depth of about 13 ft/ 4m. and extend down to a maximum depth of about 131 ft/ 40m, making it suitable for divers of various levels.

Underwater Wrecks Picture Gallery

5. Fujikawa Maru, Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon

Are you a fan of World War II wrecks? Then Truk Lagoon is the place to be, an underwater graveyard in Micronesia filled with remarkably preserved sunken ships. History and diving go hand in hand here!

The 433ft/132m long Fujikawa Maru rests at a depth of about 111 ft/34m in Truk Lagoon. Within the wreckage, divers can find intriguing elements such as dismantled Mitsubishi fighter planes, including A6M Zeros and an A5M Claude. This underwater wreck is visited via liveaboard cruises.

6. HMHS Britannic, Aegean Sea:

Do you fancy something classic? The HMHS Britannic, the slightly less famous sister of the Titanic, awaits you in the Aegean Sea. This wreck, sunk in 1916, served as a hospital ship during World War.

7. USS Oriskany, Florida, USA

But divers don’t live on history alone. The USS Oriskany aircraft carrier, known as the “Great Carrier Reef,” was intentionally sunk off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, and has become an artificial reef and diving site for all skill levels. The top of the wreck lies underwater at a depth of around 70 ft/21m, while the flight deck is found at a depth of 145 ft./44m Nothing less than an entire aircraft carrier to explore!

Underwater Wrecks - pecio SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea

3. Underwater Plane Wrecks

Get ready to spice up your underwater adventure by exploring aircraft wrecks—yes, planes! Dive into aviation history by visiting remnants of World War II aircraft like the Aichi E13A (Jake) in Palau, a Japanese reconnaissance plane resting at 45 ft/14m deep. Or the B-17G Flying Fortress in Croatia, an American bomber lying at the seabed with turrets and military equipment remnants.

For those inclined towards the “modern,” don’t miss out on the Boeing 737-200 in Canada. This former passenger aircraft is now part of an artificial reef teeming with marine life, perfect for inquisitive divers. And for something more recent, the sunken Boeing 747 in the Amwaj Islands of Bahrain awaits you at 65 ft/20m. deep, forming part of an underwater park ideal for coral growth observation.

Whether it’s an American fighter like the Vought F4U Corsair in Hawaii or a giant like the C-130 Hercules in Jordan, underwater aircraft wrecks offer an adventure for every type of diver.

4. A Train Wreck Underwater

A submarine wreck with train carriages. Sounds mind-blowing, right? Well, get ready to learn about the Saint Chamond, a French steamship built in 1913 that fell victim to a German U-boat during World War I.

This steel giant, sunk 2.4 kilometers off St. Ives in Cornwall, was carrying a very peculiar cargo: steam locomotives. Although the wreck itself is fragmented, divers can behold between five and seven of these 82-ton metal beasts resting on the seabed.

5. Underwater Wrecks to Visit with Dressel Divers


Bayahibe. Here you’ll find two gems:

Atlantic Princess: An ideal spot for beginners and photography enthusiasts alike. Shallow (just 12 meters), this wreck allows you to admire schools of fish, colorful wrasses, lobsters, and even curious frogfish.

St. George: For the more experienced divers, St. George, at 145ft/44 m deep, offers a journey into the past. Sunk in 1999, this transatlantic freighter invites you to discover the underwater history of the area.

Let’s head to Punta Cana next.

Here awaits the Astron, only 39ft/12 m deep. Explore its underwater passages, swim alongside nurse sharks, and marvel at the vibrant Caribbean coral reefs.

And if you want to immortalize your adventure, Dressel Divers offers videography services so you can take home an unforgettable memory.

Mexico: Is it a wreck, is it a reef? Yes, it’s the Mama Viña:

Crossing the sea, we arrive at Playa del Carmen, Mexico. There, Mama Viña, a former shrimp boat sunk in 1995, awaits you transformed into an artificial reef.

Descend to 98ft/30 m and observe green moray eels, barracudas, turtles, and schools of tropical fish everywhere. In winter, with a bit of luck, you might encounter bull sharks!

Dominican Republic or Mexico? You decide. Prepare your gear and dive into the adventure offered by these amazing underwater wrecks! And the best part? With Dressel Divers, you have the option to dive with FREE Nitrox on these underwater wrecks. Don’t wait for anymore. Drop us a line and scuba dive on one of these amazing Caribbean underwater wrecks.


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