Looking Into the Far Future of Earth’s First Long-Term Nuclear-Waste Vault – Facts So Romantic

On June 1, 1676 the Battle of Öland was raging, as the Swedish navy grappled with a Danish-Dutch fleet for control of the southern rim of the Baltic Sea. Amid bad weather, Kronan—Sweden’s naval flagship in the region and one of the largest warships of its kind at the time—made a sudden left turn. Its sails began to take too much wind. The ship tipped over as water gushed into its gun ports. Kronan soon lay horizontal on the water. It was then that an explosion rung out, tearing off a large chunk of the vessel’s front side. Kronan’s gunpowder storage room had lit ablaze. The ship—along with around 800 men, loads of military equipment, and piles of valuable coins—sunk to the bottom of the sea, 85 feet down. Sweden lost the battle.

A contemporary painting of the Swedish flagship Kronan explodingPainting by Claus Moinichen via Wikipedia

From 1679 to 1686, Swedish divers using diving bells recovered over 60 valuable cannons from the wreck. After that Kronan’s precise location was forgotten, the ship left alone in its watery resting place for almost three centuries. In August 1980, however, a team located the old warship once again. Since then over…

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