Swamps aren’t just for Hollywood anacondas. They’re perfect history pockets. Their general inaccessibility allows artifacts, bodies, and even cities to await discovery without being damaged or looted. The physical conditions of marshlands can sometimes slow down deterioration, taking snapshots of the past that would otherwise have been lost.
10. Swamp Ghost
Months after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, US bombers raided the Japanese at Simpson Harbor, Papua New Guinea. One plane made a second run after its bomb bay malfunctioned. Even though it worked the second time, a hot fight ensued between her crew and the enemy. The Flying Fortress managed to not explode in a spectacular fashion, but she never made it back to base. Badly whipped, she belly landed in a deep swamp.
Her crew stumbled to safety a few days later, bringing with them a tale of survival and a fresh dose of malaria. The war bird was only rediscovered in 1972, and its haunting appearance quickly earned her the name “Swamp Ghost.” Roughly three more decades would pass before conservation efforts freed the bomber in 2006. Today, Swamp Ghost enjoys a much better home at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.