Odyssey Marine Exploration has uncovered the biggest load of treasure ever recovered from a shipwreck: 61 tons of silver bullion. The haul was pulled up this month from the SS Gairsoppa, a British cargo ship that sank off the coast of Ireland in 1941 after being torpedoed by a German U-boat. Not only is it the biggest recovery in history, it's also the deepest, coming from a depth of almost three miles, the Tampa Tribune reports. If you can't picture what 61 tons of silver looks like, Bloomberg reports that it's 1,574 silver bars.
The Gairsoppa had already yielded almost 48 tons of silver last year, so it has now given up 99% of the insured silver it was reported to be carrying when it sank. Odyssey was hoping to find uninsured silver as well, but did not. Odyssey, a Tampa-based company, won the bidding war to recover the treasure and will retain 80% of the haul. The British government gets the rest. But this haul isn't worth quite as much as last year's, since silver prices have gone down recently. It's currently worth about $35 million, $3 million less than what Odyssey got last year for the smaller haul, Reuters reports. (Read more Odyssey Marine Exploration stories.)