Scientists come closer to unravelling the secret of the legendary Blackbeard pirate's ship

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Researchers were confused by the abundance of coal at the wreck site

The legendary pirate Edward Teache, nicknamed Blackbeard, left a spectacular image, many interesting historical facts and a mind-boggling mystery about his ship. The fact is that archaeologists found a large number of pieces of coal near the wreckage of the Queen Anne's Revenge. However, by the time the ship was lost in 1718, it was not mined in North America and the need for its widespread use had not yet arisen.

However, according to IFL Science, it seems that scientists have found the key to this mystery. They were able to explain the strange anachronism.

The 31.4-metre-long piñata was launched in the early 18th century. Initially, it belonged to the French privateer René Duguet-Truin and was intended to transport slaves. But at the end of November 1717, near the Caribbean island of St Vincent, it was captured by Teache, making it the flagship of his pirate fleet. At the same time, he renamed the sailing ship Queen Anne's Revenge. There were up to 400 people on board, travelling the Caribbean Sea and extracting treasure in all the typical ways of pirates.

The Queen Anne's Revenge was sunk in June 1718, running aground near Beaufort Bay, in the modern state of North Carolina. The wreckage was discovered in 1996. Some of Blackbeard's treasures were found at the wreck, including gold, paper documents, mercury, brassware, glass beads, and more. Historians were surprised to find hundreds of pieces of coal scattered around the ship's hull.

However, it is known that coal mining in America began only in 1870. It was then that the need for it arose, as a steam engine was introduced that ran on this type of fuel. In particular, it was used on ships.

"In the 19th or 20th century, the simplest explanation for the source of both types of coal could be the Appalachian Mountains, but mining there did not exist in the period under consideration. In addition, European settlers did not discover anthracite in Pennsylvania until perhaps the late 1760s, and there was no real legal mining until the 1800s," explained James Gower, author of the study, lead researcher and research professor at the University of Kentucky's Centre for Applied Energy Research.

Later studies showed that the coal recovered from the sea day near Blackbeard's ship dates back much further than the years of the legendary pirate's life. Scientists assumed that it was a simple accident.

The wreckage was discovered off the coast of Fort Macon, which later became a key harbour and coal refuelling station. It happened during the US Civil War after the Union forces captured the fort on 26 April 1862. Over the next two years, 421 ships made almost 500 trips to the city to get coal. Scientists suggest that some of the ships may have dumped some of their cargo overboard. Subsequently, tidal currents, hurricanes, and sea waves gathered them around the wreck of the Queen Anne's Revenge.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told how scientists accidentally found the site of a large-scale battle involving Bohdan Khmelnytsky.

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