Sunken Eldorado: The New Underwater Gold Rush

Faced with an ever-growing demand for precious metals and dwindling extraction sites, the world’s oceans are being seen as a new Eldorado. Thousands of shipwrecks litter the ocean floor with cargoes of these ’precious metals’. With today’s technology, this treasure is in reach.

Underwater archaeology has revealed that 3 million shipwrecks litter the ocean floor, 3,500 of which sunk with cargoes of gold, silver and porcelain onboard. Billions of dollars worth of this material, just sitting there, at the bottom of the sea. With today’s technology, this gold is in reach.

But how can this sunken treasure be recovered? And who has the right to do so? The nation whose territorial waters host the wreck? The country plundered years ago for its resources? Or indeed humanity, as advertised by UNESCO? Between diplomatic battles and great buccaneers, this international investigation uncovers a new gold rush.


  • Year: 2019
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: Via Découvertes
  • Director: Denis Delestrac, Didier Martiny
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France



  • Best Documentary Award (Water, Sea, Oceans International Film Festival 2020, Czech Republic)

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