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Puzzling Discovery: Marine Archaeologists Investigate Mysterious Object Exposed in Lake Erie During Extreme Weather

Weird Weather Lowers Part of Lake Erie to Reveal Wreckage
Source: Unsplash

A coal plant on Maumee Bay in Oregon, Ohio.

Jan. 26 2024, Published 1:03 p.m. ET

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Lake Erie recently experienced an abundance of snow that caused an unusual and significant drop in water levels.

This event uncovered intriguing remnants that hinted at the possibility of a sunken warship from decades or centuries past, according to WTOL-TV.

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A Toledo, Ohio TV meteorologist, Chris Vickers, shared photos on Facebook showcasing what seemed to be weathered barrels of two cannons revealed by the extremely low water near Oregon.

Vickers expressed excitement about the historical discoveries, exclaiming that the extremely low water near Oregon "revealed hundreds of years of history!”

However, skepticism arose among observers who questioned the warship theory. Stephen Hull suggested that the structures might be the ends of pipes with bilge pump fittings on a potentially sunken barge from around 1930.

Cruise line captain Kent Baker proposed the idea that the boat could have been intentionally sunk as a break wall or pier.

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Responding to comments, Vickers mentioned that marine archaeologists plan to investigate in the summer to determine the true nature of the findings.

Carrie Sowden, an archaeologist at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, cast doubt on the existence of a ship, pointing out straight lines on the structure that indicated more of a pier or dockage, WTOL-TV reported.

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The water level, which had dropped by as much as nine feet due to a weather phenomenon known as a "seiche," eventually returned to normal. A seiche, pronounced "saysh," is described by Dictionary.com as an occasional and sudden oscillation of water in a lake or bay caused by factors such as wind, earthquakes and changes in barometric pressure.

The incident was triggered by a blizzard in the upper Midwest, with strong winds pushing water across Lake Erie from Toledo to Buffalo, a distance of over 300 miles. The storm featured winds of 41 miles per hour and gusts up to 65, causing Toledo's lake level to drop while Buffalo experienced a lake surge of 4.5 feet.

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The severity of the storm led cargo ships to drop anchors one mile offshore at Sandusky, Ohio, as reported by WJW-TV. Ferry ship owner Billy Market explained that captains avoid such powerful storms by seeking refuge.

Similar extreme weather events have been documented before, including a "negative surge" in Tampa Bay during Hurricane Ian in 2022. The phenomenon of a seiche has even been proposed as a possible explanation for the Biblical parting of the Red Sea.

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