It's often when we think of the ocean that we think of things like coral reefs, fish, or marine mammals, like whales and seals and dolphins. It often calls to mind the romance of the open ocean, of sailing, of ships and mariners, fishers and explorers. For many, the idea of a white sand beach and endless sun, paired with a fresh coconut in hand, is synonymous with the ocean.
Ocean life, in all its forms, is a rich, bustling affair, with food and habitat aplenty. The majority of the oceans around the globe are absolutely teeming with life, in more ways than one. With recent developments involving overfishing, polluting, and climate change, many areas of the ocean are in critical jeopardy, but by and large, life presses on, and blossoms amongst the waves and reefs of the ocean.
But the ocean isn't always an easy sea breeze. It's often difficult, with ocean storms, hurricanes, deadly coastlines, and treacherous seas. Sailors face countless perils: shipwreck, abandonment, getting lost in the vast desert of deep blue. Coastlines everywhere are littered with ships run aground, and countless more ships sunk to the bottom of the deepest oceans. But it's not just sea vessels, there's something much more interesting that can be found in the oceans, something a bit less expected: Cars. Contrary to what seems logical, there are many terrestrial vehicles that have been left underwater, along with many airplanes. Let's take a look at 25 photos of cars and planes left to rot under our oceans.
25 Coated In Curacao Coral
This old vintage pickup truck has fallen to the ocean floor long ago, and since it found its final resting place, the ocean has stepped in and begun its takeover of the car. Rust and salt water has started to dissolve the structures of the car.
But the surface has been transmuted, taken over by sea life, corals, plants, even fish have found respite in this shell of a former vehicle. The result is a fascinating dichotomy between the past and new life. It's gorgeous.
24 WWII Allied Aircraft Turned Coral Reef
This massive aircraft resting at the bottom of the sea is really a sight to behold, left to rot and decay in its own way. Yet, instead of being a barren wasteland of decaying structures, a forlorn look back at a catastrophic war, the ocean has done much better with it.
This massive craft has been taken over by coral and plants, providing a new home for all kinds of fish and other marine life, just as the ocean does, and the result is quite spectacular. And an incredible place to dive.
23 Must Be Lonely Down There
The sad, empty face of this dilapidated car only calls to mind sorrow and loneliness. Missing hood, roof dented in, and hollow gaze due to broken out headlights, it all just looks sad and empty, a shadow of a car that once glistened with paint, glass, brand new from the factory.
It's come a far way, somehow ending up at the bottom of the ocean, where it inspires mystery and wonder, a fascination for divers, an ode to all that once was, perhaps what could have been.
22 Escobar's Plane
Pablo was infamous, even down to this day his name is well known by mostly everybody, whether or not they know about the extent of his crimes and wild lifestyle. Here, in pristine, neon waters of blue and green, can be found his crashed plane.
It's in shallow water, too, with parts of it still above water even, which makes it a pretty popular dive site for many, where snorkelers and the less intrepid can have easy access from boats close by in deeper waters.
21 Facing Down The Beast
The scale of some large aircraft that have crashed into the ocean is well illustrated by this photo, where a relatively small diver floats directly in front of this hollowed-out shell of an airplane, facing down the beast.
Still largely intact, it is a surreal sight to see such a large vessel normally found in the skies so far out of its element, deep in the ocean, where light hardly reaches, where algae and rust silently work away at the remaining structures of a once glorious bird of the air.
20 Aqueous Airliner
This craft sits at peace in the water, a passenger airliner is sunken to lay at rest against the soft watery sands of the bottom of the ocean. It sits perfectly upright, surreal, inspiring mystery and melancholy in equivalent scores.
The blue hazy light is quite beautiful, in a delicate way, and the scuba divers help show scale for this large airplane. Their presence also inspires a sense of adventure, of exploration, a calling to get out there and see these mysteries for ourselves.
19 The Fish Are Driving
This photo, taken inside the cabin of a submerged car, is quite the sight to behold, a scene that many might not ever have imagined existing anywhere in the world. Yet here it is, and it's more common than many might think when cars become submerged nature takes over.
This time, the surfaces are coated in thick sediment and algae, along with some small corals and plants. The fish are particularly vibrant and beautiful, taking it into their hands to drive this car themselves. It's a right-hand drive, too, which means these must be British fish.
18 Sailing Over A Sunken Skeleton
Sighting crashed planes submerged underwater is not an experience limited only to experienced divers who devote much of their time and energy in search of the most intriguing dives, it is often much easier to access.
As this photo illustrates, in clear waters, it is easy to see and even explore the ruins left to rot just under the surface of the water. This sailboat is peacefully floating past the sunken and rotting skeleton of an old airplane, and the juxtaposition is marvelous.
17 Cast In Hues Of Aquamarine
The sight of this car gives an indication that some kind of event much more violent than the current scene led to this car finding itself rotting in this watery grave. Perhaps there was a storm, and the cargo of a ship tipped over, sending this car to the depths, along with other flotsam scattered around it.
In any case, it is in high contrast with the serenity of things now, silent, still, entombed underneath tonnes of water, where silence reigns alongside stillness. Of all the places to be laid to rest, this seems a particularly nice one for cars.
16 Landed For Good
In some kind of emergency landing, this big aircraft had to come down from the sky in one of the most damning places on Earth, the open ocean. While open waters almost always guarantee a relatively tame and survivable landing, the events transpiring afterward are often less fortunate.
The plane will inevitably sink to the bottom, swallowed up by the ocean. This structure rotting on the soft sandy sea floor has provided a haven for countless fish, proving that life goes on, and especially is this true in the ocean.
15 Cast In Shades Of Blue
The sight of this massive truck in the water is both haunting and breathtaking all in the same moment. The rich blues of the water are quite beautiful, as well as is the amount of life teeming around the truck, corals and fishes and plants and life.
Yet the empty shell conjures a melancholy sorrow over the scene, haunting, hinting at an untold story perhaps filled with peril and tragedy, or perhaps not. In any case, this truck is far from where it belongs, and there is great fascination in that concept.
14 Crusted Over Fuselage
This plane crash has done an extraordinary job incorporating itself into the reef around it, already seamlessly blending into the existing rocky structures, where the crusted over fuselage blends into the coral it rests on, almost indistinguishable.
The diver hanging on to the wing is a pretty comical sight, too, as it almost seems as if he's hanging onto the wing of a plane in flight, feet flailing behind him as it speeds through the atmosphere. How much further from the truth could that image actually be?
13 Engine Compartment Teeming With Life
There is a lot of poetic symmetry in this photo of a dilapidated and rotting skeleton of a car laid to rest at the bottom of the ocean. Because once the engine compartment was filled with a great and complex engine that provided life to the car, giving it motion and heat and power, but that is hopelessly gone.
In its place, though, life has returned, an even more complex system has taken over, a beautiful ecosystem of coral and plants, fish and crustaceans, all working together to create a living system within the hood space, not unlike an engine, though entirely different.
12 A Bit More Recent
While most of the wrecks in this lineup are of long since abandoned relics, planes, and cars that have been overtaken by the life and rot of the rich waters of the ocean, this one is unique because it is a surprisingly recent crash of a jet airliner, and it's only recently found its final home at the bottom of the sea.
Many divers have jumped on the opportunity to see this fresh crash themselves, and with good reason. To see the remains of a plane that still looks new in many respects is almost even more surreal than seeing one almost entirely rotted away.
11 Motorcycle From The '40s Lost At Sea
Lost in the mystery of the Red Sea, in the nigh-forgotten depths of the Thistlegorm wreck, is this, a fairly massive shipwreck containing quite a lot of treasures from the '40s, along with this old vintage motorcycle.
This photo is pretty awesome, too, perfectly juxtaposing light and decay, life and darkness, all keeping the motorcycle front and center. The vibrant blue backdrop teeming with fish, and the foreground, illuminated in flash, with a perfect yellow and beautiful fish peacefully swimming by.
10 Now Cruising At -100 Feet
The shorts and bare arms of this scuba diver attest to the warm waters where this crash is located, in the vibrant waters of the Caribbean. There are quite a number of plane wrecks and shipwrecks dotted amongst the warm and peaceful seas of the Caribbean.
This plane rests dilapidated underneath the waves, missing its wings, likely torn apart in the crash, drifting to the bottom away from the fuselage. The divers are exploring the area with scuba gear, and I can't think of a better way to spend time in the Caribbean. Except, of course, sun tanning on the beach.
9 Lorries On A Route To Nowhere
These lorries are long forgotten now, resting at the bottom of the sea sideways and coated in the sediment and algae of the ocean, as it settles slowly and peacefully on top of them, piling up year after year.
Perhaps they were on route via a ship somewhere, or even less likely on a delivery route somewhere, but in any case, their current route is to nowhere, as they've found their silent and watery grave, where they'll rot and rust for the rest of time, undisturbed save the divers and fish who visit.
8 Very Waterlogged Turbine
This stunning image of a plane sunk to rest at the bottom of the water is quite breathtaking, vivid and stark, highlighting a fuselage that is so waterlogged it will never start again. It highlights the fact that the water is no place for a plane, and once it goes in it has no hope of returning.
The best part is that the diver swimming between the fuselage and prop is only wearing a diving mask, which means this one is particularly accessible, for those seeking less adventure and more mystery.
7 Mangled Fiat Succumbing To The Ocean
This particular sea wreck is quite brutal, though it hardly shows it anymore. The dilapidated ruins of an old Fiat lie at the bottom of this reef, where a cargo ship carrying many of the cars capsized, sending them spilling into the ocean.
This one is particularly destroyed, and with the amount of fish, sediment, and coral built up all around it, it's hard to see what it is anymore. Soon enough silt and coral will make it unrecognizable. There's intense beauty in that.
6 Never To Be Driven Again
This Jeep Wrangler has taken things a little bit too far with the off-roading. Yes, technically the ocean is indeed off of the road, but that doesn't mean that this off-roader can handle it. Hopefully, the reason this Jeep is here isn't because someone thought it would be a good idea to do some aqueous off-roading.
The moment this car hit the water, it spelled eternal doom for the mechanics of it, and it was never to be driven again, never again to even start. Salt water is one of the worst things for a car, and this one has seen more than enough.
5 Plane Wreck At Staniel Cay
Located in Staniel Cay, this is one of the shallowest airplane crash locations in the whole world, and as you can see it is mere feet below the surface of the water, and the total level of the water itself is very shallow, with smooth white sand stretching off into oblivion.
The wings have separated from the fuselage, and the remains are quite old and broken up. It's quite a popular dive spot, as the wreckage is so easy to access, with full exploration possible by means of snorkeling alone.
4 Tractor Trailer For The Fishes
This overturned tractor-trailer is surrounded by swarms and swarms of fish, schools of them in the foreground and background. They all dart in and around this massive monolith, with steel beams reaching up to aureate skies of light blue, thick with algae and sediment, wheels giving away the human origins of this catastrophe.
Once a catastrophe, now a haven for life, living within the protection the structures provide, the newfound plants and coral feeding the many fish. It's not long before the ocean gets hard at work erasing any evidence of humans.
3 Watery Nosedive
The crash behind this airplane can only be imagined in the most catastrophic of ways, an impact and watery nosedive down to the bottom of a dark and ominous ocean. It's easy, especially with this photo in black and white, to imagine the doom surrounding this event.
But, it's less bad than it looks, considering that the entire plane is almost perfectly intact still, pointing towards a rather gentle landing, all things considered, is that it didn't break up on impact. It really is a surreal sight, though, one best experienced in real life, no doubt.
2 Toyota At The Bottom Of The Ocean
The remains of this little Toyota, meeting its fate due to a shipment shipwreck, are particularly destroyed and rotted by saltwater, as the majority of the car is missing. There's no roof, no doors, no interior, nothing.
Nothing except for a dashboard missing all of its dials and a steering wheel collapsed to the floor of the car, or the floor of the ocean, depending on your perspective, as it doesn't look like much is left of the bottom of the car, and anything that is is filled in with sediment and corals.
1 In The Hold Forevermore
Many cars find themselves in the bottom of the ocean because they are captured as prisoners, unable to escape a sinking ship, doomed to follow the ship all the way to the bottom, trapped where they are, fate sealed for all time, the same as the ship.
It's part of the reason why exploring shipwrecks are such an alluring adventure for many. There's no telling what kind of treasures went down with the ship when it sunk. The mystery for many is just too tantalizing to ignore. Which is how this truck got discovered.
Sources: The Drive, Travel Intense, Sail Caribbean & Maritime Archaeology