Captain Cook’s ship, HMS Endeavour, is one of the most famous ships in history. But despite its acclaim of being part of the first European discovery of Australasia and New Zealand between 1769 to 1771, the ship was sold off, sunk, and forgotten. Now, over 200 years later, archeologists think they might have rediscovered it off the coast of the United States.
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) say there’s “an 80 to 100% chance” they have discovered the shipwreck of Cook's HMS Endeavour in Newport Harbor, Rhode Island.
After Cook used the HMS Endeavour to sail to Australasia, the ship was used by the British Royal Navy to transport British soldiers during the American revolution and renamed “Lord Sandwich.” The last known sighting of the ship was in 1778. Along with 12 other ships, it was sunk during the early days of the Battle of Rhode Island.
RIMAP made the prediction having found historical documents in London that confirmed where these ships had sunk. They then used analysis of remote sensing data to see if the documents were accurate and the shipwrecks were still there. They now hope to conduct further research on the underwater site and confirm all their findings.
A reconstruction of the HMS Endeavour in Sydney, Australia. BMCL/Shutterstock