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19th-Century Shipwreck Discovered During Search For Missing Flight MH370

Search teams looking for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 made a discovery, but it's a tad older than the Boeing 777 plane they had in mind.

In March 2014, MH370 was on its way to Beijing, China when it went off course and seemingly plunged into the Indian Ocean.

Highly advanced technology has been scanning huge swaths of water for debris ever since, but the whereabouts of the majority of the aircraft's parts are yet to be confirmed.

One boat equipped with such scanning devices, however, managed to find some wreckage at the bottom of the sea in December, according to CNN.

The Australian agency leading the MH370 search reportedly said,

An anomalous sonar contact was identified in the course of the underwater search, with analysis suggesting the object was likely to be man-made, probably a shipwreck.

An autonomous underwater vehicle used its sonar capabilities to form a high-resolution image of the shipwreck.

Experts at the Shipwreck Galleries of the Western Australian Museum then determined the ship was approximately 200 years old and made of iron or steel.

This is reportedly the second time searches for MH370 unintentionally came upon a shipwreck.

Underwater drones found previously uncharted remains of a late 19th-century ship in May, CNN reports, also with the help of sonar technology.

That wreckage lies 12,795 feet below the surface and aroused suspicion, the MH370 search director for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau reportedly said, thanks to the "small bright reflections" the wreck produced "in a relatively small area of otherwise featureless seabed."

Western Australian Maritime Museum curator Michael McCarthy suggested to Australian ABC in May such unintended discoveries are bound to happen again.

He said,

There are hundreds of ships lost in our world's oceans over time, through old age, cyclones, typhoons and one would expect this to occur.

To this day, a piece of a plane wing that surfaced in July is the only suspected trace of MH370 to be found.

The part washed up on an island in the Indian Ocean and was confirmed to belong to a Boeing 777.

Citations: Shipwreck from 1800s found during search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (CNN), MH370 search teams find shipwreck (CNN)