Inspired by some photos of a colorful shipwreck from the Maldives, I’ve dug out some pics from a very different kind of shipwreck, one from much closer to home.  In fact all of these images were taken within a few miles of each other off the coast of the northeast of England and southeast Scotland.

Wrecks are common around the UK.  Stormy weather and a lot of shipping have combined to create a huge number of wrecks, often taking many lives.  Whilst these tragedies have now happily passed beyond memory, the wrecks are now amazing places to explore, even in the gloom of UK waters thick with silt and plankton.

Most UK wrecks are very broken up, with only the really robust structurers such as propellers and boilers surviving.  For anyone interested in engineering these can be fascinating as well.

sections of crank shaft from a massive steam engine

an anchor from an unknown vessel

Whilst these wrecks are rusty, silty places, they are not devoid of life.  On the images above, the blobby white and orange structures are a type of coral, Alcyonium digitatum, or Dead Mens’ Fingers as it is gruesomely known.  Up close you can see they are colonial in nature and covered with polyps.


Amongst the murk are occasional jewels, from beautiful semi-transparent anemones like The Plumose Anemone to delicate nudibranchs that feed on the hydrozoans and bryozoans that grow on the metal structures.

Janolus cristatus – a real beauty

Polycera quadrilineata – a shallower dwelling species

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