The Mary Celeste:An Unsolved Mystery From History

The Mary Celeste:An Unsolved Mystery From History


Vinisha Sharma, Journalist/Editor

A mystery is something that is difficult to understand or leaves you with the curiosity of the explanation behind it. But still the stranger the mystery, the greater our enjoyment. And our enjoyment is even greater knowing it really happened! Following is a factual sea mystery that will baffle your imagination.


The story concerns a sailing ship named The Mary Celeste. This mystery began during the afternoon of December 4, 1872 when Captain Morehouse of Dei Gratia spotted a ship on the horizon and when examined by his telescope and crew, found no person on board and recognized it as Mary Celeste. The ship had working pumps below deck,no leaks and fairly good shape sails. The cargo had 17 hundred casks of industrial alcohol still lashed in place.


The lifeboat, navigational instruments, and some ship’s papers were missing. The Captain and crew had not only left their clothing and other personal belongings but also their pipes and tobacco. It was common knowledge that sailors leave their tobacco behind when in great danger. The last entry in the captain’s logbook was dated almost 2 weeks earlier and it gave no hint of any trouble.


Mary Celeste seemed to be unlucky and her original name was Amazon. Her first captain died in 2 days, the second lost his job because of the misfortunes and the third sailed across the Atlantic and ran into another ship. After she was rebuilt she was sold to new owners, she was renamed Mary Celeste and her captain was Benjamin Spooner Briggs; a close friend of Captain Morehouse. The naval court(a group of people who are something like the judges of the events that happen in sea) tried to come up with an explanation on what happened to captain Briggs and his crew but could come up with none.


Many explanations were made to what happened to Mary Celeste; some believed that she was attacked by sea monsters, sickness on ship, pirates, or UFO´s. Mary Celeste´s owner suggested that on a sunny day some alcohol spilt making it evaporate and then made the hatch pop open due to the gas pressure. Captain Briggs might have thought that fire broke open the hatch and asked the crew to abandon the ship at once. This would leave the ship safe and sound and abandoned. But none of this has evidence.


To this day, the disappearance of the crew of the Mary Celeste remains one of the most puzzling sea mysteries of all time.

(Reference – Strange mysteries from all around the world by Seymour Simon)