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WWII Wreck Diving In the Chuuk Lagoon!

Truk, or 'Chuuk' lagoon is a group of beautiful tropical islands in Micronesia. The peaceful waters of this blue lagoon have a secret inside them - a graveyard of old WWII ship and plane wrecks from the Japanese fleet.

More than 50 major shipwrecks litter the floor of this lagoon, historic reminders created by the American 'operation hailstone' which some consider the 'Japanese Peal Harbor'. The bombardment lasted 3 days and took down 60 ships and 275 planes, entombing them forever in the cool waters of the lagoon. 

chuuk lagoon diving photos

This diver shot some incredible photos of this ghostly wreckage of a light tank on the sunken deck the the 'San Francisco Maru', about 50 meters (164 feet) under the waves of the Truk lagoon. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

But before we go under, this is how it looks from above - an aerial photo of the Chuuk island group, that used to be known by their separate names: Truk, Ruk, Hogoleu, Torres, Ugulat, and Lugulus. Chuuk is part of Micronesia. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

The True Blue Lagoon Resort, which offer crystal clear waters which just beg to be explored. This is a place no diver can resist, especially since it has so many old wrecks and mysteries to unfold. Divers think they've died and gone to diver heaven, despite the many risks involved.


chuuk lagoon diving photos

And in we go, diving down into these mysterious and shark infested waters, diving down between the ruins. You can see the size of this huge wreck when compared to the tiny size of the diver next to it. This ship was the Yamagiri Maru


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Inside Yamagiri Maru at a depth of 32 meters down. These amazing sights are a once-in-a-lifetime experience for divers. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

More exploring in the dark waters inside the ruin. It takes some courage to be along in the dark waters, but exploration is immense fun. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

The ruin of Kawanishi Emily - the 'flying boat' 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

An attack bomber, 20 meters beneath the waves of the Truk Lagoon. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

The biggest danger under the Truk Lagoon, in addition to sharp objects from the ruins, are the sharks, a danger divers need to always be alert and ready for. This danger increases the risk and so it takes some courage to go diving down here. Some may hide in teh shipwrecks or downed planes. This is a grey reef shark shot approaching divers. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

A submerged truck more than 50 meters deep. Kudos for the diver who took this photo, because at such depths, many divers get hazy. Nitrogen narcosis is strong at such depths, and makes it hard to think.


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Corals on the mast of the shipwrecked Sankisan Maru. As if the immense historic graveyard wasn't fascinating enough, the Truk Lagoon presents divers with a plethora of shapes and colors of hard and soft corals and diverse mrine life. Unfortunately, that includes the sharks.


chuuk lagoon diving photos

The San Francisco Maru 65 meters above the sea floor. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Gas masks still surviving in the hold of the Nippo Maru. About 40 meters down. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Who did this old skull belong to? Probably a Japanese sailor inside one of the shipwrecks under the waters of the lagoon.  Some claim the ghost fleet lagoon is actually haunted by the souls of these sailors. But they haven't seemed to harm anyone just yet. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Aviation gas still leaks from the hundreds of barrels that were on the sunken freighter, creating a ghostly fluid swirling in the waters like some supernatual light. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

 A giant underwater: The bow of the old Unkai Maru.  


chuuk lagoon diving photos

The bridge of the ghost ship of Nippo Maru. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Never got to battle: 46 meters underwater lie the tanks that never made it into battle. These are amazing sights to behold yourself as a diver and explore. Many stories are  buried underneath these calm waters. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

And among the dark hues of history, there are also the bright colors of marine life, like the Anemone Fish, growing on the deck the Yamagiri Maru, a ship formerly designed to sow death and destruction.


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Light peeps through the dark funnel of the Unkai Maru. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

A crusted over bottle on the Kiyuzumi Maru, which drowned only 600 yards away from the shore of the Fefan Island, the third largest inhabited island of the Truk Lagoon. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

A plaque was actually placed here, underwater, on the deck of the sunken Fujikawa Maru, which sunk in 1944 by the US forces. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Zeros in the hold of the Fujikawa Maru. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

The Betty Mitsubishi attack bomber 20 meters deep. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Inside the attack bomber, with hundreds of fish keeping the diver company in the ghost wreck. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

A beautiful panorama of the Emily 'flying boat' 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Large Anemone fish among the shipwrecks. Marine life is slowly claiming these historical ruins of man, and in a few generations, these wrecks might provide a habitat for a new reef. A fascinating cycle of life and death. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Beautiful corals growing on the mast of the Sankisan Maru. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

 Inside the green ruins of the Heian Maru. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

Swimming above the bow gun of the San Francisco Maru, 50 meters deep. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

The enormous hold of the Yamagiri Maru, which lays on its side on the bottom of the lagoon. 


chuuk lagoon diving photos

After such a great dive, it's wonderful to enjoy the sun setting over the peaceful waters of the Chuuk Lagoon. It's hard to imagine that these waters are the home to such surreal reminders of a violent war.

This is definitely one of the most amazing places for divers in the world. 

 

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Related Topics: Diving, ruins, WWII, shipwrecks
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