The famed ship of explorer Captain James Cook, the HMS Endeavour, is believed to have been discovered off the coast of Rhode Island after last being seen in 1778.
The ship's storied history included an arduous three-year exploration of the Pacific Ocean which included the discovery of the east coast of Australia.
Despite its historic accomplishments, the Endeavour's post-exploratory story became rather convoluted and only recently unraveled by researchers.
After eventually falling into disuse, historians theorize, the vessel was acquired by a shipping magnate, who re-sold the ship to the British Navy after repairing and renaming it.
Shipping records indicate that the rechristened Endeavour was eventually used by the British during the American Revolutionary War before being intentionally sunk along with 12 other ships in Rhode Island's Newport Harbor in order to form a blockade.
Although the Endeavour's fate became largely forgotten due to its new name, the legend of the ship's accomplishments gained tremendous appreciation over time and even inspired the name of one of NASA's space shuttles.
Despite its reputation, the vessel's final resting place proved to be an enduring mystery for researchers, but an extensive investigation by the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project may have finally located the long lost ship.
Using both historic documents as well as advanced technology to survey Newport Harbor, the RIMAP say that they are nearly certain that the Endeavour is amongst a bevy of ships that they have found there.
The group plans to release a report on their findings later this week with plans to eventually retrieve pieces from the famed ship which will be put on public display.
Should the discovery be confirmed, it will be cause for celebration in Australia, where the Endeavour has achieved near-mythical status for its role in discovering the country by English-speaking people.
So while the Endeavour's debris likely holds no literal treasure, the historic value of the find would be tremendous.
Perhaps it can also serve as a reminder that even the most pernicious mystery can sometimes be solved with the right combination of research and luck.
Source: Daily Mail