36 Million Dollars Worth Of Silver
In 1941, the SS Gairsoppa — a British-built merchant ship that had seen service during World War II — departed India bound for Ireland. It never reached Galway, its intended destination, having been sunk by a torpedo, fired from a lurking German U-Boat.
The Gairsoppa slipped to the deep ocean floor, its 85 crew members killed and its precious cargo lost. That cargo? Some 48 tonnes of silver bullion, with an estimated value of more than $30 million (at today’s prices). The wreck sitting in 15,000 feet of water, it was thought that the treasure was lost forever.
In 2011, however, deep-sea divers discovered the Gairsoppa’s remains and a delicate operation began to recover the treasure from the ocean floor. It took a little time and much careful planning, but the silver was found and brought back to the surface. Considered ‘the deepest, largest precious metal discovery in history’, it is thought there might still be more riches down there just waiting to be found. For curious divers, it’s an intriguing proposition.