#5. Sao Joao Shipwreck
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On 8 June 1552, the Portuguese ship Sao Joao came to a disastrous fate. It hit the coastline of Port St. Johns in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa and vanished and met its end near the mouth of the Umzimvubu River, but remarkably there were survivors. 100 of the 600 people on board drowned. The remaining people, led by Manual de Souza e Sepulveda took the challenging trek north, heading towards Mozambique. Only 21 of the 500 people (14 of which were slaves) ever actually made the journey. That’s rough.
There’s plenty of evidence that the Sao Joao was laden with the richest cargo, worth a total of one million in gold (obviously, that’s a lot more now). It was filled with pepper, precious gemstones, Chinese porcelain, carpets, and more and was a haul to behold. Slaves took some of the good on that arduous journey, but some believe that the money chests went down with the ship.
Treasure hunters travel to the shipwreck site and hunt for any of the scraps of what once inhabited it. Some have claimed that they’ve found some less impressive valuables, like the porcelain and Carnelian beads. One lucky treasure hunter even claimed that they found a gold pendant. If you want to try and find this one yourself, you’re going to need to get a little wet. Most of the treasure is submerged, if it’s even there at all.
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