There are fears the wreck of Captain James Cook’s Endeavour is being destroyed by shipworms, the “termites of the ocean”.
In February, the Australian Maritime Museum announced that the shipwreck, in waters off the coast of Rhode Island in the US, was “the final resting place” of that famous historical ship.
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (Rimap) challenged that assertion, sparking a transatlantic spat over the site known as RI 2394.
Now an expert has told the Boston Globe that he has found evidence that shipworms have infiltrated the wood.
Reuben Shipway, a University of Plymouth marine biology lecturer, dove down to the wreck and found shipworms had infiltrated a piece of wood belonging to RI 2394.
The shipworms – actually a worm-like mollusc – infiltrate and eat through wood.
“It means one of the most important wrecks in human history is being destroyed right…