Taken by the Sea: 11 Real-life Shipwrecks

Titanic Image Gallery The Andrea Gail fishing boat in "The Perfect Storm". See pictures of the doomed Titanic.
Photo courtesy ILM

In the age-old battle between man and nature, disasters at sea hold a special place in the rubber-necking canon. They have the distinct appeal of human tragedy, occasional heroics and often mysterious circumstances, all combined with the terrifying knowledge that a ship the size of a small town can sink in about 12 seconds.

Like all fears embedded in the collective unconscious, the shipwreck is a Hollywood favorite. What if a fishing boat found itself in the middle of freak vortex of storms? What if a luxury liner were capsized by a tsunami in a matter of seconds? What if a shipwreck became a ghost?

There are thousands of real-life shipwrecks in the record books. Ships destroyed by storms, gouged by icebergs, besieged by mechanical problems and blown apart by missiles or cannon balls. That last one is the most common reason a ship ends up at the bottom of the sea. But nature, sometimes aided by man's folly, can definitely take down a boat.