full screen background image

10 Days of Astonishing Shipwrecks: The Atocha Motherlode

March 10th, 2016 by Piper Smith

Day nine.

The Atocha Motherlode ($450 million).

The Nuestra Señora de Atocha was carrying jewelry and jewels, indigo, silver, gold, and copper when it sank off the Florida Keys in 1622. The treasure on this legendary ship was so vast, that it took two months to painstakingly record and load it before the ship could depart along with the rest of the Spanish fleet. Although the Spanish tried to locate the wreck, it was never found. In July 1985, after scouring the seabed for almost 17 years, Mel Fisher discovered the Atocha and her fortune. To this day, the wreckage site is still being explored and excavated as the sterncastle, the most valuable part of the ship, has yet to be found.