Legends: Mary Celeste

In December of 1872, just off the coast of the Azores islands in the mid-Atlantic, a brigantine ship named Dei Gratia discovered the Mary Celeste, a ship, adrift at sea. Completely deserted, the Dei Gratia’s boarding party would soon learn that none of the 10 on board were ever seen or heard from again.

Originally British under the name Amazon, the ship had transferred to American ownership and renamed Mary Celeste. She had left a month prior from the US to Genoa.

With no indication of why it had been abandoned, all that was left to note was the lifeboat missing from the ship. With minimal signs of flooding and little damage to the ship, on it remained 1,700 barrels of alcohol that it had been carrying.

The Dei Gratia crew split up and sailed the Mary Celeste to Gibraltar, where the ship was handed off to British authorities for further investigation. Though there are many theories on what could have possessed the crew to abandon its ship, the mystery remains unsolved fostering decades of speculation and myths, becoming synonymous with unexplained abandonment.

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