This Is Not A Photo Of SS Cotopaxi Which Disappeared In Bermuda Triangle

The image shows a ship that ran aground in Chile in 1968 and not the SS Cotopaxi.

An image has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook alongside a claim that it shows a ship that was last seen in 1925 after "disappearing" in the Bermuda Triangle. The claim is false: the image shows a ship that ran aground in Chile in 1968.

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The image was uploaded to Facebook by a Papua New Guinea-based user here. It has been shared more than 140 times.

A screenshot of the post, taken July 7, 2021.

The superimposed text below the image reads: "This ship was last seen in 1925, and has mysteriously reappeared after disappearing 90 years ago, in the Bermuda Triangle!

"She remains intact, and afloat , and has NEVER been seen by any aircraft, or sea-going ships, in 9 decades... nor has she ever run aground!"

The post is referring to the US coal steamer S.S Cotopaxi.

It disappeared along with 32 crew members in 1925 during a voyage from the US state of South Carolina to Cuba.

The Bermuda Triangle is a section of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North America in which "more than 50 ships and 20 airplanes are said to have mysteriously disappeared," according to Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

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There is no evidence "disappearances occur with any greater frequency in the Bermuda Triangle than in any other large, well-traveled area of the ocean", according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

A similar claim was shared by other Facebook users around the world, including here and here.

The claim, however, is false.

Chile shipwreck

A Google reverse image search found the image in the misleading posts was originally published in this 2008 blog post by Australian traveller Simon Hampel.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the ship photographed by Simon Hampel (L) and the Facebook post (R):

An image comparison of the shipwreck photographed by Simon Hampel (R) and the Facebook post (L)

Hampel's blog post documents a day of sightseeing along the Messier Channel in the fjords of Patagonia, Chile.

He wrote that he travelled with the Navimag tour company on a ferry from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales.

Hampel's photo shows a shipwreck called the S.S Leonidas.

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It sits just north of Angostura Inglesa (English Narrows) in the Messier Channel.

The ship ran aground on the Bajo Catopaxi (Catopaxi Bank) in 1968. It can be seen in a photo credited to the US Navy here.

Christian Stevenson, Navimag e-commerce manager, told AFP that Hampel's photo shows the S.S Captain Leonidas and provided a photo of the shipwreck for comparison.

Below is a screenshot comparison of Hampel's photo (L) and a photo of the S.S Leonidas provided by Navimag (R):

An image comparison of Simon Hampel's photo of the S.S Captain Leonidas (L) and a photo of the shipwreck provided byt Navimag (R). ( Simon Hampel, Christian Stevenson)

Old hoax

The text featured in the Facebook posts is part of an old hoax about the S.S Cotopaxi.

It first appeared online as part of this 2015 report from satirical website World News Daily Report.

The story alleges the Cuban coastguard "intercepted an unmanned ship heading for the island, which is presumed to be the SS Cotopaxi, a tramp steamer which vanished in December 1925".

After being rehashed widely by other websites, the Associated Press (AP) debunked rumours about the ship's reappearance in 2018.

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In 2020, the S.S Cotopaxi was officially identified 65km off the coast of Florida by NOAA marine biologist Michael Barnette.

US media organisation National Public Radio (NPR) reported on the discovery here.

Updated On: 2021-07-26T18:10:29+05:30
Claim Review :   Photo shows SS Cotopaxi which was last seen in 1925 after disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle.
Claimed By :  Posts on Facebook
Fact Check :  False
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