‘Pristine’ 400-Year-Old Warship Was Lifted From The Icy Baltic Sea

When we think of tragically sunken ships, the words Titanic, Arizona, and Lusitania flash before our mind’s eye, and this doesn’t usually happen with the Swedish warship Vasa — which was hoisted up from the icy Baltic Sea almost completely intact in the 1960s, according to the journal Archaeology, a publication of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Marine archaeologists have located the wreck of a Danish warship defeated at sea approximately 376 years ago, reports the German Press Agency (DPA).

Per a statement from the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, the Delmenhorst sank during the Battle of Fehmarn, an October 1644 maritime clash between Christian IV’s Danish forces and a joint Swedish-Dutch fleet.

Researchers using multibeam sonar spotted the Delmenhorst’s remains while surveying the Fehmarn Belt, a strait in the western part of the Baltic Sea, ahead of construction of a planned underwater tunnel connecting northern Germany to the Danish island of Lolland. The wreck had come to rest just 500 feet from Lolland’s southern shore, at a depth of some 11.5 feet. When Sweden finally extracted the ship from her resting place in 1961, approximately 95% of the ship remained intact, creating an incredibly rare archaeological opportunity.

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The “Delmenhorst” sank during a 1644 naval battle between Denmark and a joint Swedish-Dutch fleet

Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A decisive victory for the Swedes, the Battle of Fehmarn—and the Danes’ loss of the broader Torstenson War—signaled the end of Denmark’s dominance in Scandinavia and the start of Sweden’s ascendance.

After realizing the 1644 battle’s outcome was all but assured, Danish commanders intentionally grounded the Delmenhorst near the city of Rødbyhavn’s cannon, according to the museum. Though they hoped the weapon would protect the vessel from destruction or capture, the Swedes thwarted this plan by setting one of their own ships on fire and sailing it straight into the Delmenhorst.

Multibeam sonar located the ship’s distinctive outline on the seafloor.

(Femern A / S)

All told, the Swedish-Dutch fleet sank or captured 15 of the Danes’ 17 ships. Christian’s forces, comparatively, only managed to sink one enemy ship, per the DPA.

Archaeologists discovered the wreckage of two of the three sunken Danish ships in 2012, making the Delmenhorst the only one whose location remained unknown.

Swedish Vasa warship wrested from icy Baltic Sea

Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Speaking on the BBC’s ‘Witness History’ podcast last month, presenter Tim Mansel detailed how the story unraveled.

He said: “1961 in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the water’s edge in the middle of the city.

“It’s hard to imagine now, but in 1628 when Vasa sank, Sweden was one of the great military powers of Europe.

“For 30 years, war was raging across the continent, Vasa was the most modern and powerful warships imaginable, armed with 64 cannons.

A construction drawing of the warship Fides, which is thought to be roughly the same type and size as the Delmenhorst.

(NM Probst)

“It was also a work of art, a dazzling display of intricate carvings and brightly painted wooden figures.

“But she sank ignominiously on her first voyage, only a few hundred metres from where she had been moored, by the Fifties, she was all but forgotten.”

Mr Mansel explained why Mr Franzen was determined to solve the mystery.

He added: “One man, however, Anders Franzen, was determined to find her.

“Anders was an oil engineer, but he never lost his childhood fascination for old ships, but the one that interested him most was Vasa, because of the connection to Sweden’s greatest King and the brief moment as a great power.

1:10 Model of the Vasa (Photo: Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 3.0])

“He realized that the water of the Baltic Sea had probably preserved the ship in perfect condition, by raising her, he hoped to find a pristine time capsule of the 17th century.

“He knew roughly where Vasa laid and he became a familiar site, motoring systematically back and forth in his small boat summer after summer. Mostly, he later wrote, he found mostly bicycles, Christmas trees, and dead cats, but finally, in the late fourth summer his persistence paid off.”

In a segment from 1992, Mr. Franzen can be heard explaining the moment everything changed. He said: “One day in 1956, I picked up a bit of black oak from a spot that matched the old documents pretty well.”

Mr. Mansel detailed how divers were sent below the surface to probe the find.

He added: “Black oak was what he had been looking for, this is what they built ships from in 17th century Sweden. Anders persuaded the Navy to send a diver down to see if he really had found Vasa, but for the diver, it was too dark. But he could feel he was next to a large ship, so he climbed up and came across a square hole.

“It was at this moment he realized he had found a ship with two covered gun decks. It was obvious that they had found Vasa and the divers blasted a series of tunnels through the clay under Vasa. They put steel cables through the tunnels and attached them to the surface on either side.”

Among the wreckage were pieces of a historic Backgammon board

Photo: Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Speaking again in 1992, listeners heard Mr. Franzen relive the moment Vasa was resurfaced.

He said: “I remember that day in August 1959 when we lifted her for the first time, she had been laying at a depth of 32 meters and we lifted her up to 16 meters.”

Mr. Mansel revealed how the warship was brought to the surface in an almost pristine condition.

He continued: “Over a period of two years they lifted Vasa stage-by-stage.

“Then came the day August 24, 1961, that they would finally bring her to the surface.”

Vasa was housed in a temporary museum called Wasavarvet until 1988 and then moved permanently to the Vasa Museum in the Royal National City Park in Stockholm.

The ship is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions and has been seen by over 35 million visitors since 1961.

Photo: I, Peter Isotalo (CC BY-SA 3.0)

“It’s an exciting wreck,” says Morten Johansen, an archaeologist and curator at the Viking Ship Museum, in a statement. “First, it is the last of the sunken ships from the Battle of [Fehmarn] in October 1644. Secondly, [the] Delmenhorst is special because it is one of the first ships built from drawings.”

Archaeologists have recovered an array of artifacts from the wreck, including melted pieces of bronze cannons, four different sizes of cannonballs and coins. Divers took some 30,000 photos of the site, enabling researchers to create a 3-D model of the ship’s remains and the surrounding seabed.

Once underwater surveys are complete, the vessels will be covered in sand and featured in a new beach park. In 2021, the Viking Ship Museum plans on presenting a digital exhibition featuring the 3-D photographic model of the Delmenhorst.

“The ship will remain in the environment where it has been doing well for 400 years,” Johansen explains. “Then we hope that in the future, someone will find a method that can ensure that you can get more knowledge out of such a wreck than we are able to pull out of it today.”

20 Incredible Images of the Olympics’ Athletes That Show What the Human Body Is Capable of

Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been the topic of the internet recently. Even though there was a delay due to Covid, a lot of athletes were in excellent shape to bring golden medals to their countries. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games launched on Friday 23 July with the opening ceremony, although the sporting action actually kicked off a couple of days earlier. It all comes to an end on Sunday 8 August, with the Olympics officially lasting a total of 17 days.

I can’t even imagine the joy one experiences when they have that gold medal around their neck. All the hard work, the sacrifice pay off in the best way possible. And this is not just a personal win, you’re representing a whole country that has its eyes on you in that moment of competition.

What we see on the TV are just the results of a long preparation. If the athlete wins we are proud, if they lose, we are quick to judge. However, today we want to give you the real image of what happens behind the scenes. There are a lot of things these athletes go through in order to achieve that shape and get qualified for the Olympics. Therefore, today we are bringing some of that footage that often goes unseen. Scroll down below to check it out. And let us know what you think of this year’s Olympic games.

1. Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz became the first Olympic gold medalist for the Philippines

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2. 8 F**king times in Olympics. Take a bow

3. This was Canadian Mark McMorris 11 months ago. Today he is an Olympic Bronze medalist. Amazing.

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4. Feet from Dutch Olympic swimming champion Maarten Van der Weijden after swimming 163 km/101 mi in 55 hours to raise money for cancer research

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5. After sixteen stages in Tour de France I think my legs look little tired

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6. In 2009 J.R. Celski sliced through his entire left quadriceps with his right skate blade at the U.S. Olympic trials

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My first major sports injury happened at the 2010 U.S. Short Track Speed Skating Olympic Trials. It was the competition I had to do well at in order to secure a spot on my first Olympic team. The fall happened in one of the last races of the competition, the 500 meters, known for absolute top speed. I fell in the corner and put the front six inches of my blade straight into my quad. I bounced off the pads with the blade still in my leg, looked down, and had to pull it out myself because of the awkward position that I was in.

I completely severed the VMO “teardrop muscle” and luckily barely missed the femoral artery which might’ve been the end. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever gone through, especially because in the moments after, I started realizing that I might not be able to achieve the goal I set out for in the first place. If not for the people around me including my family, friends, and medical staff, I wouldn’t have been able to get back on my feet, especially in time to go to the Olympics and win two medals.

7. The Difference Between Gold and Silver in the 15km mass start Biathlon

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8. I Was Born With A Condition: Pectus Excavatum. Which I Know Sounds Like A Harry Potter Spell. My Deformity Began Appearing Around Age 10

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My name is Cody Miller. I am not a typical Olympic swimmer. Like most sports the taller you are the better… Most swimmers are incredibly tall, well above 6ft… I’m 5’11 and only weigh 170lbs. More often than not, I’m the smallest person in the pool.

My condition puts stress on my respiratory system. Tests have shown that my sunken sternum and odd placement of other bones have caused a reduced lung capacity… To what extent is unknown. Doctors have said my maximum breathing capacity is likely reduced by 12-20%. Also… I’m diagnosed as asthmatic… Which I learned, from studies run on me in college, has nothing to do with my pectus condition. I live with difficult circumstances as a swimmer. Despite my disadvantages, I’ve dedicated my life to swimming… And I’ve never given up. Like a lot of you, I have struggled with body image problems throughout my life. I struggled with my appearance from a young age. I was a kid who was afraid to take off his shirt in gym class… people thought I was weird. At swim meets, I walked around the pool deck awkwardly while people stared and pointed at me.

I was weird and abnormal… However, I’ve realized this: No one is 100% satisfied with the way they look. Everyone has something about themselves they dislike. And that’s OK! Professional athletes, models… everyone has their own insecurities! I’ve embraced the fact that I have a giant hole in my chest! It’s OK! Monday night. June 27th, 2016 in Omaha Nebraska. USA Swimming Olympic Trials took place at the CenturyLink Center live on NBC, in front of a crowd of 17,500 people, I swam in lane 5 of the Finals of the men’s 100-meter breaststroke.

Only 2 athletes per event qualify for the Olympic Games. 2 swimmers to represent the U.S.A in the 100-meter breaststroke… I’d been dreaming about this moment my entire life. One wrong move and it’s over… The pressure of a lifelong dream… Years and years of training. Thousands and thousands of hours of preparation for a race that lasts 59 seconds… 2 lengths of the pool… 1 start… 1 turn… 1 finish… 1 moment… 1 opportunity… I did it… The feeling is still indescribable… I qualified for the Rio Olympics. My new Olympic teammate and I hug. Seeing the Olympic rings next to my name… I try not to cry… I did… like a baby…

9. Never forget that Australia’s first ever winter olympics gold was won because the guy was coming dead last and everyone in front of him fell over.

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10. Team USA Basketball Player Deandre Jordan (6’11”) and Gymnast Ragan Smith (4’6″)

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11. An x-ray of a gymnast performing an exercise

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12. Leg muscles of the first perfect 10 in olympic history, at age 14. Nadia Comaneci

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13. Ex-World Champion Cyclist Janez Brajkovic Leg After A Race

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14. The hands of Olympic swimming champion van der Weijden after a 163km swim

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15. Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai’s right arm gave, ripping apart ligaments and muscle under the weight

He pushed himself to lift 148 kilograms (326.3 pounds) during the men’s 77kg weightlifting competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

16. Acrobatic Gymnastics Elite And Level 10 Training Camp At Karolyis Olympic Training Site

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17. USA Men’s Volleyball Player David Lee 6’8″ and USA Gymnast Simone Biles 4’8″

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18. Anyone want to hold my hand

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19. Verified on the eve of US nationals

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20. When you spend every day on a bike vs. When you retire and ride casually

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