NOAA search doesn't find shipwreck, but something much more alive

NOAA search doesn't find shipwreck, but something much more alive
A conger eels and a scorpion fish inhabit an overhang with small anemones. (Source: NOAA)
A highly camouflaged monkfish blends into the sea floor. (Source: NOAA)
A highly camouflaged monkfish blends into the sea floor. (Source: NOAA)
The Windows to the Deep expedition discovered a rocky habitat home to fish, crabs, anemones and coral. (Source: NOAA)
The Windows to the Deep expedition discovered a rocky habitat home to fish, crabs, anemones and coral. (Source: NOAA)

SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - They were looking for a possible shipwreck on the ocean floor. What they found was much more alive than a sunken ship.

Using its sonar technology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) detected an object similar in size and shape to ships that have sunk off the North Carolina coast.

"By working with archaeologists on shore, we confirmed that this type of scour is typically indicative of a shipwreck," the NOAA said in an email. "This information led our team to believe that we might have found a large shipwreck. This region is known to be an area with many shipwrecks due to the WWII Battle of the Atlantic and ships lost at sea along the high traffic trade routes along the US east coast off of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Many of the vessels lost in this area have only roughly reported sinking locations and their final resting location remains unknown.

"Our interest was further peaked when overnight mapping (early morning of June 27) revealed the detection of a potential object, or objects, above the seafloor."

Instead of a shipwreck, the team found broken rock slabs that were home to all kinds of sea life.

"Nearly every nook and cranny of habitat surveyed was home to fish and the surfaces of rocks were often covered in anemones or coral," the NOAA email read.

Through July 2, the NOAA and its partner are exploring the Southeast U.S. Continental Margin as part of its Windows to the Deep 2018 project. Click here for more information, including photos and summaries from NOAA dives.

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