Underwater Cultural Heritage
Marine Life on Sunken Vessels
Often, the study of underwater cultural heritage sites focuses on understanding the past. In more recent years, however, scientists are also beginning to learn how sunken ships influence ecology in the deepwater marine environment and how that environment affects the shipwreck. This includes how marine organisms colonize a wreck once it has come to the seafloor. While many of these wrecks are reminders of the tragic ending to a story, examining the marine life that now calls them home lets us also see these sunken vessels as a new beginning for some animals.