Where in the World Did the Most Shipwrecks Occur in the Past Year?

The ocean is beautiful, bountiful, and vital. Without it, there would be no life on Earth. It is a wild and unforgiving force; despite our best efforts to harness its power, it still overcomes humanity time and time again. How many shipwrecks are at the bottom of the ocean? According to the Smithsonian, there is an estimated three million shipwrecks strewn across the ocean floor, ranging from World War II destroyers to colonial galleons to humble rafts. These wrecks sometimes become life-sustaining reefs, a testament to the sea’s ability to both destroy and renew. The team at Staten Island Yacht Sales has created this fascinating map exploring which bodies of water have the most shipwrecks. If you are as fascinated by boats and the ocean as I am, it is “shore” to hit the spot!


Job “whale” done on the title illustration especially – it captured my attention right away. They charted the 300 most recent shipwrecks, or all of the known shipwrecks of 2022. Here is the “treasure chest” of 2022 shipwrecks they provided as a source at the bottom of the infographic. It dives into more detail about each shipwreck, including the ship name, country, and suspected causes. I was curious about why the South China Sea has so many shipwrecks and discovered some articles describing it as “Asia’s most dangerous waters”. There is a large area in the southeast part of the South China Sea that is known as “Dangerous Ground”. It is riddled with obstacles such as low islands, cays, and reefs that rise abruptly over 3,300 feet from ocean depths! It is also poorly charted, making it treacherous to navigate. The South China Sea is one of the most contested regions in the world due to its abundance in untapped oil, natural gas, and fishing areas.

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