Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

Categories: Water | World

At first glance, this lagoon looks like a tropical paradise, but it hides a big secret… Under the blue water is the largest graveyard of ships in the world.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

The Chuuk Islands are a group of small islands in the Caroline Islands archipelago in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. During the Second World War, a large Japanese naval military base was located on the islands. On February 17, 1944, the Americans launched the military operation "Hilston", as a result of which about 60 Japanese ships were sunk.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

We descend to the depths and meet the first echoes of the Second World War

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

Here is a sunken Japanese ship. There used to be a bathroom here.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

At the bottom you can see porcelain dishes from the Japanese ship Fujikawa, which was sunk during World War II

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

During the Second World War, a large Japanese naval military base was located on the islands (there were about 40 thousand soldiers and civilians in it), as well as an airfield. The island was strategically important for the empire: there was a communications headquarters on it, from where radio commands were sent, directing the operations of all Japanese naval forces in Micronesia.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

In 1944, the ships of the 4th Imperial Fleet and the command of the 6th Submarine Fleet were located in Chuuk Lagoon. On February 17, 1944, the Americans launched the military operation "Hilston", as a result of which about 60 large and many small Japanese ships were sunk. Subsequently, control of Chuuk passed to the US Army. It was a Japanese Pearl Harbor.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

The American armada included destroyers, submarines, aircraft carriers and more than 500 aircraft. In addition to Japanese ships, 275 Japanese aircraft were destroyed.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

Translated from the local language, Chuuk translates as "high mountains". More than 60 warships and 275 Japanese aircraft ended up at the bottom of the lagoon, forming the largest graveyard of ships in the world.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

The United States lost 25 aircraft during this operation. The wreckage of a sunken Japanese plane.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

Most of the wreckage of the equipment remained untouched for almost 25 years: people were simply afraid of sunken bombs. Now this place is very popular among divers, here you can find sunken ships with full holds, fighters, tanks and bulldozers.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

A diver with the skull of a Japanese sailor who died during a military operation in Chuuk Lagoon.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

Shells.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

According to archaeological materials found on one of the islands of the group, the Chuuk Islands were inhabited about 2 thousand years ago. Initially, the locals settled only on the coast and engaged in pottery, but about 1,500 years ago this culture disappeared, and the islanders moved to the interior and mountainous slopes.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

A car inside a sunken ship.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

The tank is at the bottom of the lagoon.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

The porcelain tableware has been perfectly preserved, despite decades spent underwater:

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

The holds of sunken ships are full of objects from the Second World War.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

At the bottom of the lagoon.

Underwater graveyard of ships on the Chuuk Islands

And on the surface of the Pacific Ocean, life goes on…

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