Spirits at Sea: Ghost Ships Quiz

HISTORY

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

How much do you know about eerie, abandoned ships of the sea? Take this quiz to find out.

What is a giveaway that you've spotted the ghost ship of Northumberland Strait?

Witnesses to the ghost ship say the white sails suddenly burst into flames. The strait is located on the eastern coast of Canada.

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What year was the Mary Celeste found adrift without a crew?

The famous case of the Mary Celeste occurred in 1872. The ship was in good shape, but the lifeboat (and crew) were missing and never found.

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What happened to the Mary Celeste after it was found by another ship's crew?

The crew towed the ship and sold it for salvage … but at a much reduced price, because a local judge thought the finders were somehow involved in the disappearance of the Celeste's crew.

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What goods were aboard the Mary Celeste when its crew suddenly disappeared?

Alcohol, specifically denatured alcohol, was the ship's cargo, which was intact when the ship was spotted. Some have speculated that fumes from the alcohol caused confusion, which led the crew to abandon the ship.

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Where was the ghost ship named Ourang Medan supposedly found adrift with its entire crew dead?

As the legend goes, the ship and its dead crew were found drifting in the former Dutch East Indies after sending out a distress call. But no one knows if this ship ever really existed.

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What do some researchers say about the Ourang Medan incident?

The complete lack of records regarding this ship make it ghostly, indeed. So ghostly, in fact, that some people think the whole thing was either exaggeration or outright lie.

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When does a ghost ship called the Flying Dutchman tend to appear?

When sea weather takes a terrible turn, the Flying Dutchman appears. The glowing ship is a warning of sorts to captains who dare risk their ships in poor weather conditions.

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What is a fata morgana?

Some attribute sightings of the Flying Dutchman to fata morgana, a type of optical illusion that distorts objects in weird ways. The illusion is caused mostly by extreme differences in air temperatures.

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When did the MV Joyita disappear?

The ship disappeared in 1955. It wasn't found for five weeks, and there was no sign of the crew. No one knows what happened to the more than two dozen people on board.

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Where would you see the fireship of Chaleur Bay?

Chaleur Bay is located between Quebec and New Brunswick in Canada. The fireship appears as a bright glow on the horizon.

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How do scientists account for the fact that tens of thousands of people have seen the fireship of Chaleur Bay?

Researchers say there are numerous possible causes for the fireship, such as ocean gases, glowing marine life or St. Elmo's fire, which is a type of natural electrical event.

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What did the Baron Falkenberg supposedly do just before fleeing to a ship that would subsequently carry his soul for hundreds of years?

He killed his brother for stealing the object of his affection … and then he killed her, too. He escaped to a ship that now reportedly sails the seas eternally.

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When a rescue crew boarded a ship named the Octavius, what did they find?

As the legend goes, the captain risked a journey through the Northwest Passage, and everyone on board was frozen stiff. This tale is entirely fiction.

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What was the official explanation for the disappearance of the crew of the Carroll A. Deering, which was found abandoned in 1921?

In spite of five official government investigations, no explanation was ever officially released for the mysterious disappearance of the ship's crew.

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True or false: The Carroll A. Deering was near the so-called Bermuda Triangle when the crew disappeared.

The ship was indeed in the Bermuda Triangle, a legendary area where many ships and other craft have vanished. Most experts think that supernatural forces probably were not in play, but that mutiny might have been part of the crew's sudden disappearance.

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An ancient ship took on an evil man named Yellow Jack and was refused entry to any port because of its despised passenger. In reality, what was Yellow Jack?

Ships infected with horrible diseases sometimes flew yellow flags as a warning, so yellow jack was probably a disease, not a man. Regardless, as the legend goes, the crews were condemned to sail forever without safe harbor.

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Why was the S.S. Baychimo abandoned in 1931?

The ship became trapped in ice near Alaska. The ship didn't sink and was sighted numerous times over the years.

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When was the last reported sighting of the S.S. Baychimo, which was abandoned in 1931?

In 1969, 38 years after being abandoned, the ship was spotted by a group of Native Americans. No one knows where the ship might be now.

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What did some witnesses claim after seeing the fireship of Chaleur Bay?

Some witnesses say that the fireship is an omen of death and that their loved ones died after they spotted the ghost ship.

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Where might you spot a ghost ship named the Caleuche?

The Caleuche is a legend in the country of Chile. The ship is considered to be a sentient being, a glowing white vessel that can travel under the waves.

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Who crews the ghostly ship Caleuche?

The souls of people who have drowned man this ghost ship. You may hear them partying as they pass by.

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What was the last message sent during the Ourang Medan's distress call?

The last message was supposedly "I die," a succinct summary of the crew's fate.

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How often does the ghost ship Lady Lovibond reappear?

The ghost ship supposedly reappears every 50 years. There's no record of the ship, though, so historians think this story is fictional.

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What was the name of the ship that sunk off the coast of British Columbia in 1906?

The S.S. Valencia was hung up on rocks off the coast. Stormy seas bashed lifeboats and kept rescuers at bay, and only 37 of the 136 people on board survived.

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The S.S. Valencia sank in an area known as what?

The ship sank in the Graveyard of the Pacific, a particularly hazardous part of the sea. Sailors claim to see the ghost ship still caught on the rocks, its survivors screaming for help.

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After the doomed S.S. Valencia sank, how much time passed before its last lifeboat was discovered?

Twenty-seven years later, a lifeboat from the ship was found floating in good condition, a symbol of the tragedy's enduring impact. It is also super creepy.

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What was the likely cause of the disappearance of the crew from the MV Joyita in 1955?

The ship had engine problems and stalled in deep waters. A disagreement on how to proceed probably ended in mutiny, with the crew taking the lifeboats out into open sea. The crew perished, because lifeboats and the Pacific Ocean are not a good combination.

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When it was found, the radio on the MV Joyita was tuned to the universal distress channel. Why didn't any rescuers hear the call?

The radio was improperly wired, meaning its range was reduced to just a couple of miles. Any frantic cries for help simply went nowhere.

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Where would you see the ghostly apparition of a ship called Palatine?

Off the coast of Rhode Island, you might see a flaming ship called Palatine. The legend is based on a 1738 shipwreck in which at least 20 people died.

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Why did the ship named Eliza Battle sink?

The steamboat caught fire in February 1858 as it traveled the Tombigbee River in Alabama, and the disaster killed dozens of people. Locals say you can see a ghost ship floating down the river, a reminder of the tragedy that happened more than 150 years ago.

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