History

For centuries, the Great Lakes have served as an important food source and trade route for people living along their shore. Today, that rich history is a draw for tourists as well as divers interested in the lakes' thousands of shipwrecks. 

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Antelope shipwreck
Ken Merryman

This eerie video takes you deep into Lake Superior, where a century-old shipwreck lies, with masts and rigging nearly intact. Explorers Ken Merryman, Jerry Eliason and Kraig Smith recently used a remote camera to photograph their find: the 187-foot Antelope. The coal-hauling freighter sank in rough waters in October, 1897.

 

Mules named Sal are hard to find these days along the Erie Canal. But almost two centuries after workers began digging its route across upstate New York, you can still see barges pushed and pulled through what some consider the first superhighway of the U.S.

As the canal prepares to celebrate its bicentennial next July, some are questioning whether the canal is still worth subsidizing.

From the Great Lakes Today Facebook page

Sep 13, 2016

Draken Harald Hårfagre

The replica Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre has sailed out of the Great Lakes, wrapping up a contentious visit.

The 115-foot Norwegian vessel sailed across the Atlantic Ocean this spring and toured Canadian and U.S. waters all summer. It made stops in Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay, where visitors came aboard for tours.

But the Draken has no plans to return to the Great Lakes.

Ben Thorp

Alpena, Mich. -- The research vessel Storm sits in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary -- in water is so clear you can just make out the bottom. Divers prep their gear on deck and then sink into the waters of Lake Huron.

In roughly a minute, they’re at the bottom of an 80-foot sinkhole. Down there, with almost no oxygen and a large amount of sulfate seeping up through the ground, it’s a perfect place for microbes to gather in layers along rocks. They form one of earth’s strangest organisms: microbial mats.

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