The mysterious crates from the Praia Bela


To the same beaches where for weeks the Oil is washed up, be washed for a year, strange boxes in the country. They come from the cargo of a German blockade breaker, was sunk in 1944?

In the case of a walk on the beach at the Praia Bela (“beautiful beach”) in the Brazilian state of Ceará, in July, Carlos Teixeira came across a strange box. Of the peculiar flotsam he had heard before. “The boxes appeared in October 2018 in the North-East of Brazil, between the North of the state of Bahia and Maranhão,” the sea, researchers from the Federal University of Ceará, in a conversation with DW. “But we didn’t know where they came from.”

You’ve speculated on a previous ship, but pursued the matter no further. Since October of last year, between 200 and 300 of these strange crates were, on the whole, been stranded, estimates Teixeira.

Oil on the beach: sections are Affected to the same coast

The interest in the floating debris increased, as in the beginning of September, the first Oil washed up on the beaches in the North East of Brazil. “And this Oil appeared in exactly the same States. I said to my colleagues that this cannot be a coincidence.” The researchers then started to examine the stranded cargo closer. It was “crude rubber in bales”, so wrapped rubber bales. In one of the boxes, they found the inscription “French Indochina”. As the French colony only existed until 1954, it had to be even older cargo.

The deepest shipwreck in the world

A little later, Teixeira came across on the Internet on information about the German blockade runner “Rio Grande”, which was browsed in January of 1944, on his trip from Japan to Europe in front of the Brazilian coast by allied ships up. It is unclear whether the crew scuttled and sank the ship itself, or whether it was sunk by the allies. It is certain, however, that the ship “was loaded with crude rubber in bales”.

Today, you will know the exact Position of the wreck: The wreck of the researchers Mearns it has discovered around 540 nautical miles from the port city of Recife in 5762 metres in depth. This is the lowest ever recorded wreck at all. Teixeira contacted Mearns, who sent him under water shots from the hold of the wreck. On box-shaped objects were seen, similar to the stranded objects.

The freighter “Rio Grande”: raw rubber on Board

Next, under Teixeira was whether the charge could ever be in the direction of Brazil washed. “Then, I have carried out a numerical modeling, i.e. simulation of the propagation of particles, starting from the Position of the wreck. And these particles have arrived at points to the North-East coast. This made us believe that the wreck was the origin of the crates.” So it was for Teixeira encouraging a connection with the strange Oil to produce, which is also at those points of the North-Eastern coast were stranded.

“First, we have asked us where the Oil came from. And this shipwreck was one of the hypotheses,” says Teixeira, whose theory was published in the last few days by many in the media. But in the meantime, he closes a connection. “We talked with other colleagues and people of (the state Oil company) Petrobras, and they said that the found Oil is new Oil. If it was Oil from the shipwreck, it would have to be more than 70 years old. In addition, the Oil found crude oil and no fuel,” says the oceanographer.

Far away from the coast

Therefore it is not responsible, in the meantime, the theory that the Oil could have come from the wreck. However, its flow simulation Teixeira holds. Given the distribution of the Oil along the coast of the North-East, the source must lie in the Region of the wreck of the “Rio Grande”. “I think this Oil came somewhere from the latitude of Pernambuco state, between 500 and 1000 kilometres from the coast” – that is, in approximately the Location of the wreck. “I believe it, because there was a large spread. If we had a starting point in the vicinity of the coast, would not arrive the Oil in so many States and at the same time.”

Rubber floats to the top: One of the mysterious boxes

The coast points, where the Oil washed up within a few weeks, includes a line of about 2000 kilometers: “The Oil is a far reach away from the coast into the sea.” Thus, Teixeira also excludes the hypothesis that the Oil from an accident in the Petrobras-refinery Abreu e Lima in North-Eastern state of Pernambuco, comes. There was contact in August, Oil. “Definitely not. The flow would not bring in the Oil from there to the North. It must have come from a far-offshore source.”

What’s supposed to happen with the strange crates washed up on the beaches – come to the Museum? “Some of the crates were thrown away, others were lying on the beach. But no one said anything to you in a Museum.” Finally, the tank would weigh between 80 and 100 kilograms. “You can’t carry easily back and forth.”