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Treasure Found Aboard Sunken Ship in Gulf of Mexico

Deep-sea divers have just made the find of a lifetime. A ship that is believed to have sunk almost 400 years ago, has a bounty of treasure on board. Located a quarter mile deep on the bottom of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, the sunken ship is believed to be the Buen Jesus y Nuestra Senora del Rosario. The ship was part of a Spanish fleet of 28 ships, eight of which met their demise on September 5, 1622, during a hurricane.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the find are the more than 17,000 pieces of real-life treasure. There were 39 bars of gold, ceramic jars, jewels, precious stones, silver coins, and even a device that was used to navigate the ship by the stars. And apparently, those aboard the ship kept parrots as pets, because bird bones were found on board. This is the first time the remains of a parrot have been found in a shipwreck.

The shipwreck and its contents were found by Odyssey Marine Exploration, a company that specializes in locating long-lost deep-sea artifacts. Odyssey's president, Greg Stemm, said of the Spanish treasure, "this is the major find of our time."

The loss of the Rosario and the other eight ships is believed to have contributed to the fall of the Spanish Empire. The Spanish economy was relying on the contents of the ship for a jump-start.

The artifacts found in the treasure are going to be on display at the Odyssey's headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

[Related: 2,000-Year-Old Treasure Discovered in Black Sea Fortress]

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