Mary Celeste Ship

The Mystery of the Mary Celeste: Crew Vanishes from Seaworthy Ship

(Read the article on one page)

The above scenario is perhaps one of the more logical and plausible explanations for the disappearance of the Mary Celeste ’s crew. Nevertheless, there has not been any real consensus as to the cause of Captain Brigg’s panic, and numerous theories have been put forward. According to one sea captain, David Williams, the Mary Celeste was abandoned due to a seaquake, a relatively common phenomenon in the Azores. Williams argues that the seaquake caused nine barrels of the denatured alcohol to spill. As a result, there was fear that the alcoholic fumes would cause an explosion, prompting the captain to abandon ship. It has also been suggested that an explosion might have actually happened. As no signs of a fire or an explosion were discovered on the Mary Celeste , this has been discounted. A scientist from UCL, however, has demonstrated that a pressure-wave type of explosion might have happened. Whilst a spectacular wave of flame is produced, it is followed by relatively cold air, leaving neither soot, nor any marks of burning or scorching behind. Therefore, it is also possible that a huge but relatively harmless flame had terrified Captain Briggs into abandoning the Mary Celeste .

While this may provide one plausible theory, it has not stopped the dissemination of wild rumors and speculations regarding the final fate of the crew members.  Over the decades, various suggestions have been made including crew mutiny, or the murder of a drunken crew by the crew of the Dei Gratia , who found the Mary Celeste .  Others have suggested death by giant octopus or squid, or that the crew came upon a derelict ship containing treasure and deserted the Mary Celeste, living happily ever after in Spain.

If new evidence comes to light in the future, we just might be able to gain a better understanding of what happened to the Mary Celeste on her fateful voyage in 1872, and perhaps solve this mystery once and for all.      

Featured image: A painting of the Mary Celeste as Amazon in 1861. Photo source: Wikimedia.

References

Blumberg, J., 2007. Abandoned Ship: The Mary Celeste. [Online]
Available here.

Collins, P., 2011. Ghost Ship. [Online]
Available here.

Lee, A., 2006. Solved: The Mystery of the Mary Celeste. [Online]
Available at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/inthenews/itn060522

Ricketts, B., 2014. The Mary Celeste Mystery. [Online]
Available at: http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/nova-scotia/mary-celeste/

Williams, D., 2015. Mary Celeste Was Abandoned During a Seaquake!. [Online]
Available at: http://www.deafwhale.com/maryceleste/

www.maryceleste.net, 2015. The Mary Celeste: Fact not Fiction. [Online]
Available at: http://www.maryceleste.net/index.htm

By Ḏḥwty

Comments

I cant understand how a Captain and crew for that matter would launch a lifeboat and leave a vessel under sail and in a storm, surely experience would tell them that if the halyard broke they would never catch up and get back on board. So many questions with too few answers, strange indeed

Perhaps there was no explosion, perhaps the captain simply set up a training exercise for the possibilty of problem occuring with the alcohol. Depending on the length of the Halyard, being far enough away from the ship,  I would say that this exercise is an intelligent idea, apart from not leaving one person on board (during the exercise) to steer.

The real mystery is: How does an 8cm thick Halyard break? The second question is why was the halyard hanging over the side surely it would be trailing behind?

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article