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Pirate skeletons have been found in a famous shipwreck that occurred more than 300 years ago.
The remains of six crew members of the Whydah, which belonged to the notorious Captain 'Black Sam' Bellamy, believed to be the most infamous and successful pirate in history, were found off the coast of New England in the US.
It's understood the bones were embedded in stone and sand concretions on the seabed, and were identified using X-rays.
Weapons and other items were also part of the unique discovery.
The ship itself, said to be the world's only verified pirate vessel, was found more than 35 years ago.
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According to reports, the Whydah sank during a storm in 1717, killing 144 crew members. Just two survived.
Underwater archaeologist Barry Clifford, who led the team which studied the remains, said: "We hope that modern, cutting-edge technology will help us identify these pirates and reunite them with any descendants who could be out there."
Two years ago, Black Sam's DNA was traced to a descendant in England.
Researchers hope the bones may belong to Bellamy, who is one of 40 crew members whose remains have never been identified.
Most of the treasure from the wreck is believed to remain on the seabed.
Casey Sherman, who studied the skeletons, said: "That bone was identified as a human male with general ties to the Eastern Mediterranean area.
"These newly found skeletal remains may finally lead us to Bellamy as we now have his DNA."
The Whydah was built in 1715. The 102-foot long vessel had 18 cannons and weighed 300 tonnes.
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But despite its fearsome reputation, it is believed to have capsized at midnight on April 26 off the coast of Cape Cod after hitting a sandbar.
Most of the bodies of the crew were washed ashore days after it sank.
Black Sam was born in Devonshire and joined the British navy in his teens before becoming a pirate for just over a year.
The remains are now on display at the Whydah Pirate Museum in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts.
Two years ago, it was reported that treasure worth more than £820m was buried on Cocos – a remote island close to Costa Rica.
It is believed Captain William Thompson left a large hoard of silver coins, diamonds and a large gold statue of the Virgin Mary after he was asked to move it from Lima, Peru, in 1821. It was supposedly destined for Mexico, but he and his crew never made it.
- In the News
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