A Russian Warship Was Discovered with an Estimated $130 Billion in Gold on Board

July 18, 2018, 4:43 PM UTC

A sunken Russian warship estimated to contain 200 tons of gold bullion and coins was discovered about one mile off the coast of the South Korean island of Ulleungdo. Today, that amount of gold is worth 150 trillion won, or $130 billion, CNBC reports.

Shinil Group, the South Korean treasure-hunting company that led the search, announced their discovery on Sunday. According to The Telegraph, a joint team with experts from South Korea, Britain, and Canada used two manned submersibles to film the wreck at a depth of more than 1,400 feet. They hope to raise the ship, known as Dmitrii Donskoi, in October or November.

The gold on board could be the treasury of the entire fleet, U.K. newspaper Express reports, carrying enough for port expenses and the salaries of every sailor and officer. Shinil Group reported that half the gold will be returned to the Russian government, while 10% of the rest would be used to fund tourism projects for the island of Ulleungdo. This includes plans for a museum dedicated to the ship.

The Russian Imperial Navy cruiser sunk 113 years ago during the Russo-Japanese war. Express reports the ship was a part of the Russian Baltic fleet, and would have taken part in the Battle of Tsushima, a Japanese victory. The hull and stern of the sunken ship are damaged, but according to a press release, the upper deck and the armored side of the hull are well preserved. Anchors and machine guns remain in place, while all three masts are reported broken.