Monday, May 09, 2016

Lazy Sunday # 417: Have You Ever Been To Sea Billy?

I grew up in a part of the world where we didn't have a lot of water. I might've been 11 or 12 before I saw a body of water where you couldn't see the opposite shore. So, I've always had a fascination for oceans.

And then somewhere around the age of 40, I learned to scuba dive, opening up the entirely different planet that lurks below the surface of those waters.

Since then, I've had the chance to swim with giant turtles, stingrays, sharks and whales. And as breathtaking as those encounters have been, the biggest thrill I've had underwater was visiting shipwrecks.

There's something about swimming over a vessel whose like you've seen on the surface. You fell like you're flying, able to see it from an angle most earthbound humans never get the chance.

And then you go inside, finding a world that few (if any) have seen for decades, even centuries; eerily preserved, giving you the sense of what it was like to be there -- of what life in that time was like.

It's one thing to experience life aboard an centuries old ship. But now the world is about to experience what things were like in an ancient city that hasn't been seen in more than a millennium.

In 2000, French divers mapping the floor of the Mediterranean found the remains of 64 ships off the coast of Egypt in less than 30 feet of water. Gold coins and Athenian weights used by merchants helped them pinpoint the site as the ancient Greek cities of Heracleion (Thonis in Egyptian) and Canopus which sank beneath the waves 1200 years ago.

Until then, most archaeologists considered Heracleion the stuff of legend. It had first been mentioned in Homer's "Iliad".

But not only is Heraclion real and remarkably preserved. It has been pain-stakingly brought back to the surface over the last 15 years and on May 19th, becomes available to the public at the British Museum in London.

Take a trip to the unseen part of our world and far back in time and...

Enjoy Your Sunday.

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