Saturday, December 12, 2015 Saturday, December 12, 2015

What was Found (and still edible) inside a 150 year-old Sunken Steamboat (25 Pics)

In 1856, the Steamboat Arabia was frontier bound, loaded with supplies for 16 towns. With two hundred tons of precious cargo aboard, it left Kansas up the Missouri river on a routine trip, but waiting silently at the water’s surface, lost in the glare of the setting sun, was the thick trunk of a huge, fallen walnut tree lying directly in the path of the approaching steamboat.
The lethal impact came without warning, piercing the thick hull of the steamer. Water poured through the gaping hole and the Arabia sank to the bottom of the Missouri River within minutes. Everyone on board miraculously swam to safety, except for one forgotten mule, tied to the deck.

The boat quickly sank into the river bottom, with the mud and silt, and within a few days, it had disappeared entirely, swept away by the force of the river. Over time, the river shifted half a mile to the east and for 132 years, the boat lay hidden from the world, until it was finally discovered in the late 1980s, buried 45 feet deep in dirt beneath a Kansas farm.

Legends passed through generations about the lost location of the Arabia and inspired a local, Bob Hawley, to find the boat with his sons in 1987. They used old maps and a proton magnetometer to figure out the probable location until finally discovering it half a mile from the river. The farmers who owned the land where the boat lay under 45 feet of mud, gave permission to the Hawleys to excavate, on the condition that the work be completed before the spring planting.

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