Archeologists, historians, and divers are working together to digitally capture over 1,000 shipwrecks at the bottom of the Great Lakes before they deteriorate beyond recognition. The deterioration is being accelerated by invasive mussels and climate change. The Great Lakes region is known for its well-preserved shipwrecks due to the cold, fresh water. However, climate change has caused more frequent and intense storms, and invasive mussels have colonized the lakes. The mussels have transformed the underwater environment, encrusting the shipwrecks in living layers of shells. This is causing the shipwrecks to disintegrate at a faster rate than ever before. The mussels attach themselves to surfaces and weaken the ship materials, eventually causing the entire ship to collapse. The problem has been documented for decades, but very little has been done to address it. Due to a lack of data, it is difficult to manage and prevent the deterioration of shipwrecks. Shipwreck hunter Ken Meryman has been using 3D scanning technology to document shipwrecks before they disappear. The data collected can be used to show the historical significance of wrecks and persuade authorities to protect them. Meryman plans to scan more shipwrecks in the future and hopes to eventually document all 1,400 estimated shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.

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By hassani

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