Four years ago, a mysterious hull of a ship was found in the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers at Ground Zero. We now know its origin: Philadelphia.
According to researchers at the Tree Ring Research Laboratory at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, "An old growth forest in the Philadelphia area supplied the white oak used in the ship's frame and the trees were probably cut in 1773 or so -- a few years before the bloody war that established America's independence from Britain," reports CNN. "Researchers used a process known as 'dendroprovenancing' to determine the hull's origins, whereby tree rings from wood samples were analyzed and referenced against several other historical tree chronologies."
"Scientists also found that the same kind of oak trees used to build the ship were also likely used to build Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776," CNN further reports.
For more than 200 years, the ship was hidden under the ground where the World Trade Center previously stood, sunk into what was once a river bed. "The ship was found approximately 6.7 meters, or nearly 22 feet below ground, just south of where the World Trade Center towers stood before they were toppled in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks," details CNN. "The ship has been tentatively identified as a Hudson River sloop, which researchers say was designed by the Dutch to carry passengers and cargo over the river's rocky shallows."
The unearthed ship now temporarily remains at Texas A&M University. It is owned by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., a subsidiary of Empire State Development.