A report shows that two filmmakers happened upon a lost ship from 128 years ago while making a documentary on a Great Lakes mussel species.
The Africa, a steamer that disappeared in October 1895 while transporting coal from Ohio to Ontario, was discovered by filmmakers Zach Melnick and Yvonne Drebert as they were documenting the destructive quagga mussel in Lake Huron.
Reports reveal the 11 passengers and crew of The Africa were rendered visually impaired by the early season blizzard and thick fog. According to the filmmakers, the vessel went missing while crossing Lake Huron with a cargo of coal between Ohio and Ontario.
While looking for the harmful species of mussels, Drebert and Melnick encountered rough weather. They started to feel seasick as the weather became more turbulent. The day had to end there.
Drebert and Melnick’s submerged drone saw something unusually enormous, so they sent a motorized camera to investigate.
The camera captured the mussels they were studying. But the appearance of a shadow in the view shocked them.
The closer they approached, the more distinct it became until they saw that it was a steamship made of wood. It was antique and well-preserved.
It seems that the invasive mussels, which were responsible for luring the two filmmakers to Lake Huron, found the hidden wealth before they did.
Mussels blanket the steamer, facilitating wreck identification but ultimately destroying the vessel due to their invasive nature.
According to a Washington State website, mussels may get thickly encrusted on docks, buoys, boat hulls, anchors, and beaches, which can disrupt boating and fishing on lakes and rivers.
However, some beneficial effects on recipient ecosystems have been recorded as a result of the quagga and zebra mussel invasions. While sucking up food, mussels filter the water, getting rid of any debris. The eutrophication of dirty lakes has been mitigated because of this filtration.