Iconic shipwreck with £1bn of gold has been lying off UK coast for 382 years

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cornwall, lies a treasure worth a whopping £1bn in a wrecked ship known as the "El Dorado of the seas".

Despite many attempts by salvage companies, the exact location of the 700-ton ship remains a mystery. The Merchant Royal, built in London in 1627, was said to be carrying 500 bars of gold bullion, 400 ingots, half a million coins, and countless gems and pearls when it sank.

And despite the efforts of the crew, the ship started leaking and couldn't be saved, leading to the loss of 18 men and a treasure that was worth one-third of England's public funds at the time.

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The mystery of the Merchant Royal, a ship thought to be worth hundreds of millions, if not £1bn, in today's prices, continues to intrigue.

In 2007, an American company, Odyssey Marine Exploration, found 600,000 silver coins, hundreds of gold coins and other artefacts on the sea floor in the Atlantic Ocean.

This treasure, rumoured to be part of the Merchant Royal's, was taken to the United States by Odyssey.

However, after a long legal battle, they were ordered to return the coins to Spain, suggesting that the ship was actually a Spanish frigate.

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Despite unsuccessful attempts to find the "El Dorado of the seas" on the Treasure Quest TV show, hope was renewed in March 2019. A huge anchor, estimated to date back to between 1600 and 1800, was discovered off the coast of Cornwall by the fishing vessel Spirited Lady.

This discovery has narrowed down the search area for salvage companies looking for the Merchant Royal's treasure. Yet, the mystery of the Merchant Royal remains unsolved to this day.

The German ship Adolf Vinnen tragically sank off The Lizard on its first journey 100 years ago.

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