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  • Top 5 wreck diving destinations in the world

    Thistlegorm, photo by prilfish on Flickr

    Diving underwater to discover some of the mysteries of the deep is no longer the pastime of adventurers and explorers, but of anyone who can swim underwater and is curious about what sorts of things lurk beneath the surface. The coal reefs of the planet are teeming with life, and for a scuba diver the variety of the marine life is what makes a dive amazing.

    But the pretty tropical fish,  colorful and strangely-shaped coral and the occasional ominous manta ray or whale shark become less important when you are faced with the wreck of a ship or a plane that has been slumbering on the ocean floor for who knows how long. Go on the most exciting dive of your life at one of the top 5 scuba diving destinations in the world.

    Fujikawa Maru, Truk, Micronesia

    The Fujikawa Maru, built in 1938, was requisitioned by the Japanese Imperial Navy during WWII and it was used to transport armed aircraft. In 1943, the ship was hit by a torpedo launched by an American submarine, and sunk in the Truk Lagoon, north of New Guinea. After being underwater for so long in the warm waters of the Pacific, the wreck has become a magnet for the fish and coral, and it is seen as one of the best diving sites in the Pacific.

    Thistlegorm, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

    Oriskany, photo by Greg Grimes

    The SS Thistlegorm was an armed merchant ship in the British Navy, built in 1940 and whose last voyage took place only a year later. The ship was carrying arms and equipment when it was forced to drop anchor near Sharm el-Sheik, where it was hit by German bombs.

    She was discovered in the fifties by famous marine explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and as soon as Sharm el-Sheik started to become a popular holiday destination, Thistlegorm began attracting divers from all over the world.

    Yongala, Cape Bowling Green, Queensland, Australia

    SS Yongala sank in 1911, while traveling from Melbourne to Cairns, after running into a cyclone. 128 passengers died in the wreck, and the incident is one of the most tragic in Australian maritime history. The ship wreck was discovered in the late fifties, and now, over a century after it sank, the remains of the ship have become a sort of artificial reef. The variety of underwater life, as well as the fact that Yongala is the most intact historical wreck in the world, attract over 10,000 divers every year.

    Oriskany, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

    Rhone, photo by Matt & Nayoung on Flickr

    USS Oriskany hasn’t met a tragic end, but after a long career as an aircraft carrier in the US Navy it was decomissioned, and instead of turning it into scrap metal it was turned into the largest artificial reef in the world.

    The ship is intact and it sits upright, and the only difference now is that there are tuna fish, groupers, coral and other marine creatures teeming in and around it. The Great Carrier Reef as it is jokingly called becomes better and better the more it stays underwater.

    Rhone, British Virgin Islands

    The RMS Rhone was a packet ship, carrying mail, until 1867 when it was sunk by a hurricane near the coast of Salt Island. The ship was quite something in its time – it was one of the first iron-hulled ships in the world, and it was powered both by steam and by sails. The iron hull of the ship is now encrusted with corals, and is visited by hundreds of divers every day.

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    Tourist attractions in Tuvalu wrote on March 12, 2015:

    […] so the tropical climate is already reason enough to visit it, but laying on the beach and scuba diving is not all you can do in this beautiful […]

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