The Mystery of Shipwrecks

THE USS WASP was an American warship that went missing at sea in 1814, while on route to the Caribbean. Like many other shipwrecks, nothing was known again of the sloop or its crew. Its resting place or the exact events of its disappearance remain a mystery to this day.

Shipwrecks are always considered a tragedy, mainly because of the lives lost. But people are also drawn to the sense of tragedy and sheer drama involved in the sinking of a vessel. We imagine captains, officers, and crewmen fighting to the bitter end against terrible odds.

Finally, our ignorance about what actually transpired — why did the ship sink? Could things have gone differently? Would any of us have survived in the same circumstances? — also adds to the mystery.

Yet from a higher viewpoint, all human endeavor — every life — is a shipwreck, wrapped in mystery and the unsettling suspicion that perhaps fate had a hand in events. Not even the most public life is truly known by others. Arguably, most about our lives remains unknown even to ourselves. Ultimately, the drama of existence — its struggles, aspirations, and fight to the bitter end — ends in a return to the unfathomable depths of time and space.

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