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Image taken by the REMUS submersible showing the cannon that were on board the San Jose when it sunk in 1708. Credit: REMUS image, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Explorers disclosed new details on Monday about the "Holy Grail of Shipwrecks," known as the San José. The vessel is a large 62-gun, three-masted Spanish galleon ship sank in 1708 while carrying cargo from Spain thought to be worth billions.

Why it matters: : Explorers located the ship off the coast of Cartagena on Nov. 27, 2015. The find was announced at the time, but now explorers are disclosing more information about the wreck site, how they found it, and what Colombia plans to do with the ship's contents. According to the AP, the shipwreck may contain riches that are worth as much as $17 billion in today's dollars.

The discovery "carries considerable cultural and historical significance" for the Colombian people, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) , since it reveals information about European influence on South America during the early 18th century. The San José was carrying gold, silver, and emeralds, in addition to ceramics and other artifacts.

The Colombian government is planning to build a museum and conservation laboratory focused on the ship's contents.

How they found it:

  • The ship was discovered at a depth of about 2,000 feet by explorers from WHOI, Maritime Archaeology Consultants, Switzerland AG, and the Colombian government using assets that included an autonomous underwater vehicle known as the REMUS 6000, according to WHOI.
  • The same underwater vehicle was involved in the successful search for Air France flight 447 in 2011, as well as a mission to map the Titanic wreck site 2010.
  • The San José was partly sediment covered, forcing the REMUS to get within 30 feet of the ship. Experts were able to make out its distinguishing cannons once the REMUS' cameras neared to the wreckage.

The Colombian government is still keeping the exact location of the ship, which sank in a battle with British ships during the War of Spanish Succession, under wraps.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
48 mins ago - Economy & Business

How the tech stock selloff is hurting average Americans

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors holding the ultra-popular Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 index funds have been hard hit over the last two weeks as tech shares have been roiled by rising U.S. Treasury yields.

Why it matters: Even though the economy is growing and many U.S. stocks are performing well, most investors are seeing their wealth decline because major indexes no longer reflect the overall economy or even a broad swath of public companies — they reflect the performance of a few of the country's biggest companies.

1 hour ago - World

UN rights chief: At least 54 killed, 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

A Feb. 7 protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

3 hours ago - Health

The danger of a fourth wave

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.