he smallest details about World War I are fascinating, especially to history buffs. From military uniforms to battlegrounds, one of the most intense periods of human history does not fail to both enlighten and horrify even the most casual of scholars. The good news is that it's all written down for us to take in.
Or is it?
In what looks to be a shocking turn of events, historians have discovered what appears to be a submerged German submarine off the coast of Belgium. The most macabre detail, however, is that the craft contains 23 intact bodies.
The type UB-II submarine seems to be in decent shape.
In good condition according to experts, the UB-II is currently lying about 100 feet below the surface of the water, just slightly off the coast in the North Sea. Researchers have been reluctant to share the exact location due to fears of possible looting and destruction.
It's no small discovery.
Exploring the finer points of the submarine could take some time. It’s reported that the vessel is about 88 feet long, 20 feet wide, and lying on the sea bottom at roughly a 45-degree angle. Documenting every inch of it will undoubtedly involve countless hours of painstaking work.
News of the discovery is spreading like wildfire.
This is a landmark finding that has set the historical and media worlds up for a lot of new tidbits about German submarines. Other WWI enthusiasts have been quick to share the exciting news. The above tweet contains a sketch of what the sub may have looked like in its entirety.
It's obviously not unscathed.
Though the vessel looks to be in amazing shape by today’s standards, there was damage sustained on the upper side, mainly contained in the bow. Upon closer observation, the hatches were all closed. Because it’s so well-preserved, it proves to be a great opportunity to study, more closely than ever, aspects of the historic WWI era.
There will be obstacles.
In the remarkable underwater footage of the UB-II, it’s clearly that the vessel is a maze of barnacles, seaweed, and coral. Up-close investigation won’t be without its challenges. Still, West Flanders Governor Carl Decaluwé summed up the overall reaction to the discovery.
“It’s quite amazing that we found something like this,” he told BBC News.