Chuuk Lagoon The Biggest Underwater Graveyard

Samuel Reason | January 14th, 2019

If you happen to like diving with wrecks and skeletons then you may want to check out Chuuk Lagoon on your next trip. Previously known as Truk Lagoon, this was a main Japanese naval base during the Second World War. It was home to a huge portion of the Japanese fleet and was their main base of operations in the whole South Pacific region.

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After the dastardly surprise attack on Pearl Harbour that had ensured that the United States of America entered the conflict, it was only fitting that the Americans were able to do the same. On February 17, 1944, the Americans launched what was known as Operation Hailstone and took the Japanese by surprise.

It was a huge affront featuring a massive naval air and surface attack which lead to over 13 Japanese warships being sunk. Along with over 32 merchant ships, 2 submarine tenders and 270 aircraft were destroyed. This is why Chuuk Lagoon is the place to be if you want to swim between the wrecks and see things from the past: it is believed there are over 50 wrecks under the surface. In fact, after the battle neither the Japanese or Americans bothered to retrieve the dead so everything that sunk has simply remained underwater to this day.

Sixty-eight years later everything remains submerged, which means that Chuuk Lagoon is the biggest underwater graveyard and the best place to dive amongst wrecks. Everything sits between 5 to 60 meters underwater, and some of the vessels are over 155 meters long. All the military cargo and equipment is still there as nothing has been retrieved, so people can swim between the World War II artifacts.

There are even some military boats that still have tanks and other large ground vehicles strapped to them. And one of the coolest aspects of this underwater graveyard is that the marine life has completely reclaimed the area.

 

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