I had no idea there was a huge shipwreck grave yard so close to New York, but when you consider how much traffic has gone in and out of the city over the last 300 years it starts to make sense. Here's a closer look.

The divers at Vocativ explored 'Wreck Valley,' where the "casualties" of hundreds of years of shipping in and out of New York City's busy harbor lie. Here's Vocativ's explanation of what they found.

Over three centuries of shipping traffic in and out of New York have resulted in hundreds of shipwrecks off the coast of Long Island and New Jersey. These boats were the casualties of bad weather, heavy fog, fatal collisions, and even German U-Boat attacks during World Wars I and II. Their final resting place is known as "Wreck Valley," and local divers love to see what artifacts they can dig up from this sunken ship graveyard. Vocativ correspondent Mariah Wilson puts on a scuba tank and joins these adventurous explorers in the chilly mid-Atlantic waters.

The diving itself is challenging thanks to strong currents, low temperature, and lower visibility. Here's what I mean:

And here's the very best kind of view you're getting even at a wreck.


But the divers manage to get some swag, from brass pieces

to portholes


to genuine, in-the-bottle Prohibition whiskey.

For those of us who don't think of NYC's role as a major shipping point, it's amazing that this kind of wreckage exists so close to the city.