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HMS Beagle was the ship that sailed around the world with the young naturalist by the name of Charles Darwin onboard. The ship was sold for scrap in 1870 but until now it´s final fate has remained one of the world´s great naval mysteries.A discovery has been made by Robert Prescott of St Andrews University, who is one of the world´s leading marine archaeologists. He says that he is quietly confident that the final resting place is near Potton Island in Essex, UK. Geophysical techniques and an advanced ground-penetrating radar located a buried structure which matches the size and shape of the Beagle. Techniques used to see if the timbers are from the Beagle include testing the ship´s bilges for remains of tiny marine organisms called diatoms. Certain species of diatom are found in specific areas of the world so they are hoping to find diatoms unique to the Pacific or Australian waters. So far the results have been very positive but for incontrovertible proof one well recognized tropical diatom must be found.
HMS Beagle was one of the commonest classes of warships built by the Royal Navy. The 90ft, 10-gun brig was launched in 1820 at Woolwich Royal Dockyard on the Thames. It was later refitted as a hydrographic survey vessel and set off on its great journey with Darwin as a passenger in 1831.For five years it carried out detailed surveying of the tip of South America and in the Galapagos Islands. Darwin suffered terribly from seasickness and apparently spent most of his time in his hammock while at sea. It was remarked that it was almost unheard of for a passenger to suffer from seasickness from start to finish of a five year long voyage !