Was Christopher Columbus's Long-Lost Ship Found Near Haiti?

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Holy ship! 

Undersea explorer Barry Clifford thinks he may have discovered the Santa Maria, the largest ship in Christopher Columbus’s fleet, more than 500 years after it went missing. Clifford’s team believes the wreck could be located right off the coast of Haiti. They are now preparing for an exploration of the long lost ship. 

"Every single piece fits. Now, of course, we have to go through the whole archeological process, and we plan to do that within the next few months, but I feel very confident that we’ve discovered the site," Clifford told CNN.

A veteran underwater explorer, Clifford is also the man who found the Whydah pirate ship, wrecked in 1717 off the Coast of Cape Cod. 

It is believed that the Santa Maria sank off the Haitian coast around Christmas of 1492 (you know, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue).

Clifford was able to locate the wreck with the help of two independent historical sources, information from the explorer’s diary, and a hand-drawn map from Columbus himself. 

The explorer told Britain’s The Independent that he would prefer if the ship stayed in Haiti, which could be a boon to the island nation’s struggling tourism industry.  

"Ideally, if excavations go well and depending on the state of preservation of any buried timber, it may ultimately be possible to lift any surviving remains of the vessel, fully conserve them and then put them on permanent public exhibition in a museum in Haiti," Clifford said.

The explorer is concurrently working to unearth four shipwrecks off the coast of Ile a Vache in Haiti believed to be linked to the pirate Henry Morgan.