The wreckage of Japan's biggest World War II warship has been discovered more than a half-mile underwater in the Sibuyan Sea, and credit for the find goes to a Microsoft co-founder, AFP reports. Paul Allen tweeted photos on Monday of the Musashi, sunk by US warplanes in 1944. Allen says he found the remains in the Philippines while exploring on his yacht, the M/Y Octopus, and describes it as the culmination of an eight-year search that relied on historical documents from four countries, a "hypsometric bathymetric survey" of the ocean floor, and his yacht's robust technology. After surveying the area, Allen and his team of researchers deployed an autonomous underwater vehicle to pinpoint the ship's location, according to a press release via CNBC that calls the Musashi "one of the two largest and most technologically advanced battleships in naval history."
"The Musashi is truly an engineering marvel, and as an engineer at heart, I have a deep appreciation for the technology and effort that went into its construction," Allen says. Underwater photos show a giant chrysanthemum on the ship's bow, symbolizing Japan's royal family; an image of one of the ship's valves reveals it bears Japanese writing. A Japanese museum director says he's "90% sure" that it is indeed the Musashi, CNN reports. More than 1,000 people died in the ship's sinking. "It's fateful that the discovery was made on the 70th anniversary of [the end of] World War II," Kazushige Todaka adds. "It is [a] very meaningful discovery and a good chance for us to remind ourselves about the war and its tragedy." (A World War II "ghost ship" was recently found off Hawaii.)