It’s been lost since October 1944, but the Japanese battleship Musashi has always loomed large in popular memory as one of the biggest ever constructed. Now Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen has discovered the long-lost ship at the bottom of the Sibuyan Sea off the Philippines using his high-tech research yacht.
Musashi was the largest battleship in naval history at the time, reports Terrence McCoy for the Washington Post. Built in secret, it weighed 73,000 tons and was nearly 900 feet long. But it was no match for a barrage of Allied bombs and torpedoes. When it sank, 1,023 lives were lost, McCoy notes.
Now Allen, who cofounded Microsoft and is worth an estimated $17.5 billion, has found the ship after nearly 71 years. He did so using the Octopus, a 414-foot-long superyacht known for playing a part in James Cameron’s exploration of the Marianus Trench. Allen, who owns not one but three huge yachts, is a science and history buff, too—and his fascination with World War II led him all the way to an underwater war grave.
The search for Musashi took more than eight years, Allen notes in a release. The team used historical records from four countries and combined it with deep-sea topography, an extensive bathymetric survey and a submarine search to eventually unearth the wreck.
As it turns out, long-lost historical wrecks aren’t the only things the mega-rich can find under the sea. Forbes reports that 42 exclusive underwater villas are now being sold at the World Islands off of the coast of Dubai. What will it cost you for a three-story underwater home, complete with sun deck, marina, pool and plenty of parking for yachts and helicopters? Only $1.36 million, or a mere 0.007 percent of Allen’s fortune.
RIP crew of Musashi, appx 1023 lost. The pic of the valve 1st confirmation of Japanese origin (clues 2 use apprec). pic.twitter.com/BcJgkhWskb— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) March 2, 2015