The ship’s remains are considered the Dolphins, a beach near Argentina’s Puerto Madryn. Tree ring data taken from the Timbers of a 19th-century vessel discovered in Argentina highlight that the ship was a Whaler based in Rhode Island. It was last seen to be sailing more than 150 years back. The remains — exposed on a beach close to Puerto Madryn, a city almost 700 miles the south of Buenos Aires — seem like that of the Dolphin per research published in Dendrochronology.
Ignacio Mundo, the research’s lead author and a leading dendrochronologist associated with IANIGLA-CONICET, an Argentinian lab, mentioned that he could not confirm with 100% certainty. Still, analysis of the tree rings seems to indicate that this may be the vessel.
The vessel was first found in 2004 on the shores of Puerto Madryn, and several years later, the remains — the remnants of the vessel’s ribs and some of the hull — were first excavated. Speculations that the vessel was the Dolphin have been making rounds for a decade, but the recent research group considers that the tree ring data confirms it.
Tree rings benefit dating events, be it volcanic eruptions Thu colonialism in North America. They are used for encoding climatologically, like with droughts, and of course, tell time, as a tree starts growing one ring for each year it has lived.
Some wood samples were collected (a nicer way of mentioning that they were removed using a chainsaw) from the wreck. Then, they were cross-referenced with the North American Drought Atlas. The atlas has tree ring samples from almost 30,000 trees dating back more than 2,000 years.
The comparison confirmed that the wreck’s ribs were made with white oak, and the hull and the wooden nails were made with black locust and yellow pine, respectively. All three types of trees grow in the eastern part of the US. The dating of wood showed that some of these trees first began growing in 1679, and the latest oaks were cut in 1849, just a year before the construction of Dolphin started.
The details appear to line up. However, there’s no smoking gun for the wreck’s identity. It was a not-so-common story for the Discovery this year of the wrecked vessel carrying the Shackleton expedition. In that case, “Endurance” is emblazoned on the stern, over a century after the ship had sunk to the Weddell Sea’s bottom.
Reference: Gizmodo, Tridentofcnc