(CNN) – Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration discovered a ship that may have been sitting on the sea floor for more than 150 years.
The NOAA was testing a new remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico when it found the shipwreck.
Experts think the 124-foot-long ship caught on fire before it sank. That’s because the structure above the water line is missing, while the hull is largely intact.
They believe that is due to copper sheathing that protects the wood below.
That copper has retained its ability to keep the hull free of marine organisms.
The NOAA said the ship’s construction features suggest it appears to be a sailing vessel built in the mid-1800s.