Top 10 most Popular Shipwrecks in The World

Popular Shipwrecks: Shipwrecks are scattered across the globe, telling tales that are both chilling and captivating. RMS Titanic, the most popular ship known to mankind,  went down in 1912 after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, taking over 1,500 lives. Over in the Pacific, there’s the USS Arizona beneath the waves of Pearl Harbor, a haunting reminder of the tragic events of December 7, 1941.

Then there’s the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy, a more recent disaster in 2012 when it ran aground near Giglio Island, claiming 32 lives in a real-life drama that played out for the world to see.

Down under, the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s coast is a graveyard of sorts for ships like the SS Yongala, lost in a cyclone back in 1911. It is now teeming with life as a thriving coral reef and a hotspot for adventurous divers.
All these shipwrecks have some kind of lesson to give us.

According to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, the estimated number of shipwrecks could be way more than what we already know.

Top 10 Famous Ship Paintings from the Age of Exploration and Conquest

Top 10 Most Popular Shipwrecks in The World

Titanic tickets cost
(Credit: Britannica)

1. The RMS Titanic

The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean and sank, resulting in the loss of over 1,500 lives on April 14–15, 1912.

The ship was considered unsinkable due to its advanced design and safety features, but the collision caused irreparable damage to its hull.

Despite efforts to evacuate passengers and crew, there were not enough lifeboats for everyone on board. This is the most famous ship incident in the world. Movies and memorials were made for the story of the Titanic.

2. The Mary Rose

Mary Rose
(Credit: Visit Hampshire)

The Mary Rose holds a special place in maritime history, known for the Tudor dynasty. Early in the 16th century, King Henry VIII of England commissioned this warship, which served as a flagship in conflicts with France and Scotland.

On July 19, 1545, during a confrontation with a French ship in the Battle of the Solent, the Mary Rose sank. The exact cause is not known, but it’s believed that the ship was either overloaded, poorly made, or struck by a sudden gust of wind.

Mary Rose lay forgotten beneath the sea for years until it was rediscovered in the 20th century. In 1982, after years of careful excavation and preservation efforts, the ship was successfully raised from the seabed. Today, the Mary Rose is showcased in a museum in Portsmouth, England, along with thousands of artifacts recovered from the wreck.

3. HMHS Britannic

HMHS Britannic
(Credit: Wikipedia)

The HMHS Britannic was a massive ship used as a hospital ship during World War I. The same company that owned Titanic also owned the White Star Line.

On November 21, 1916, the ship went on the voyage from Southampton, England, headed to the Mediterranean Sea to aid the war, under the command of Captain Charles Bartlett. Tragically, shortly after leaving Greece, the Britannic ran into a mine that a German submarine had laid. The explosion caused the ship to sink rapidly.

While most passengers and crew survived due to practiced drills and quick lifeboat launches, unfortunately, 30 people lost their lives. The Britannic sank in the Aegean Sea near the Greek island of Kea, resting about 400 feet below the surface.

Top 10 Most Powerful Tugboats in the World: A Comprehensive Guide

4. SS Edmund Fitzgerald

SS Edmund Fitzgerald
(Credit: Wikipedia)

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald set sail from Wisconsin near Duluth on November 9, 1975, for what would be her last voyage. Captain Ernest M. McSorley was in charge, and the ship was carrying ore pellets bound for a steel factory in Detroit. The SS Arthur M. Anderson, another ship, joined her along the way.

The next day, both ships got caught in a powerful storm with really strong winds and huge waves, almost 11 meters high. On the evening of November 10, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank about 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan.

Sadly, all 29 crew members went down with the ship, making it the worst Great Lakes shipping disaster ever. The US Navy found the ship on November 14, 1975, using an aircraft. Three expeditions later explored the site. And after the families of the crew asked, the ship’s bronze bell was brought up on July 4, 1995. The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald remains a solemn reminder of the dangers sailors face on the Great Lakes.

5. Kublai Khan’s Ship

Kublai Khan, the ruler of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, commanded a powerful ship that played an important role in his conquests and trade.

Under his reign, the Mongol navy became one of the most significant maritime forces of its time. Kublai Khan’s ship was instrumental in his attempts to expand the Mongol legacy into Japan during the 13th century.

He launched two major invasions in 1274 and 1281, utilizing a huge fleet to transport troops and supplies across the sea. Typhoons, which the Japanese believed to be divine intervention, ultimately defeated both invasions, earning them the name “kamikaze.” The sinking of his fleet killed tens of thousands of troops.

6. MS Estonia

MS Estonia

The MS Estonia was a passenger ship that sank in the Baltic Sea on September 28, 1994. It was on the way from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden, carrying over 800 passengers and crew. In the early hours of the morning, while sailing through rough seas and high winds, Estonia encountered trouble.

The ship’s bow visor, a large door-like structure at the front, suddenly stopped working, leading to extensive flooding of the car deck. Within minutes, Estonia began to list heavily and eventually sank into the bottom of the sea. Despite rescue efforts by nearby ships and helicopters, only a few of those on board were saved.

The majority—over 850 people—lost their lives in one of Europe’s worst maritime disasters since World War II.

7. RMS Empress of Ireland

RMS Empress of Ireland
(Credit: Wikipedia)

The RMS Empress of Ireland, a Canadian ocean liner, sank near the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River on May 29, 1914. The ship sank due to an incident starting with the heavy fog, which blurred the vision, leading to a collision with the Norwegian collier SS Storstad.

Top 10 Largest Icebreaker Ships in the World

The disaster claimed the lives of 1,012 individuals out of the 1,477 people on board, making it one of Canada’s deadliest maritime tragedies. The collision occurred swiftly, leaving little time for evacuation. The wreck now rests in relatively shallow waters, approximately 130 feet deep. Over the years, divers have explored the wreckage, uncovering various artifacts such as silver bars, a brass bell, and a stern telemeter.

8. The Andrea Doria

The Andrea Doria
(Credit: Wikipedia)

The Andrea Doria collided with the MS Stockholm off the coast of Nantucket on July 25, 1956, due to dense fogging. Despite the efforts of rescue crews, 46 lives were lost.
Today, the shipwreck rests 240 feet in the North Atlantic. The wreck of Andrea Doria has become a popular site among scuba divers, being called the “Mount Everest of scuba diving.”

9. HMS Victory


HMS Victory is one of the most famous ships in British military history. During the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, it was Admiral Lord Nelson’s main ship. Built in the 1700s, warships were a key part of keeping Britain in charge of the seas.

During the Napoleonic Wars, HMS Victory was a symbol of British military power. It had three huge decks and 104 guns. It took part in many battles and engagements, but Nelson’s leadership of the British ship to a decisive win over the combined French and Spanish forces at Trafalgar was its height.

The ship is now a museum in Portsmouth, England, where people can explore its decks and learn about its long and interesting past.

10. MV Doña Paz

MV Doña Paz
(Credit: Wikipedia)

MV Doña Paz was a passenger ship that collided with the oil tanker MT Vector in the Tablas Strait, near the island of Mindoro, on December 20, 1987.

The collision caused a massive explosion and fire that engulfed both vessels. The MV Doña Paz, carrying over 4,000 passengers and crew, quickly sank, taking the people along with it. Nearly 4,000 to 4,500 people lost their lives.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top