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Montevideo, May 29th 2023 - 15:09 UTC



Sunken ship found off Argentine Patagonia identified

Tuesday, August 30th 2022 - 09:49 UTC
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The Dolphin was built in 1850 The Dolphin was built in 1850

Scientists have announced they have identified the remnants of a sunken ship found near the Argentine city of Puerto Madryn. It would be a US-built whaler called Dolphin from the mid-1800s.

The reports were based on the type of wood with which it was built, an international group of researchers said in an article published in the journal Dendrochronologia.

The Dolphin reportedly sank more than 150 years ago, according to information provided by Columbia University. “It is very probable that this is the ship,” the researchers said.

According to historical sources, the Dolphin measured 33 meters in length and weighed 325 tons. She was built using the same wood identified by the experts between August and October 1850 and was launched on November 16 that year.

On the shores of Puerto Madryn and at low tide, the ribs and part of the hull of the vessel were analyzed by the specialists. However, despite speculation about its origin, it had not been possible to identify which vessel it was until scientists carried out dendrochronological tests to determine the species, origin, and age of the trees used in the building.

The results obtained were compared with the Atlas of North American Droughts, which has samples of approximately 30,000 tree species, covering a period of more than 2,000 years. The analysis allowed the specialists to determine that the whaler's ribs were made of white oak, while the hull and wooden nails were made of yellow pine and carob, respectively, species native to the eastern United States. The results also showed that some of the trees began to grow in 1679, and that the oaks were cut in 1849, a year before construction began.

Beyond the fact that the data obtained during the investigation coincide with the historical sources, the specialists cannot state categorically that it is the whaler Dolphin, because they do not have any other element that confirms it, such as the bell of the ship or any mark of the manufacturer.

Ignacio Mundo, a co-author of the report, explained that “I can't say with 100% certainty, but the analysis of the tree rings indicates that it is very likely that this is the ship.”


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