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Shipwreck Champagne Sells For $156,000, Preserved For 170 Years Underwater

06/08/2012 10:48 am ET | Updated Jun 08, 2012

In 2010, a crew of divers discovered the kind of booty we really get excited about: 79 perfectly preserved bottles of Champagne in a Baltic Sea shipwreck. Today, 11 of them were auctioned off in Finland for an amazing $156,000.

The auction took place in Mariehamn -- part of the Finnish Åland archipelago in the Baltic Sea, near where the bottles were originally found among schooner wreckage. Bloomberg reports that six of the bottles were Juglar (defunct since 1829), four were Veuve Clicquot and one was Heidsieck. The highest-priced bottle, one of the Clicquots, fetched 15,000 euros itself.

Because there isn't much to do when you're out at sea but drink, wine, beer and liquor casks are often found at shipwreck sites. These nearly 200 year old Champagne bottles were in such perfect condition because they were lucky to land horizontally, under pressure, at a low temperature and in the dark. In 2011, a centuries-old Roman shipwreck filled with wine jugs was found off the coast of Albania, but the stoppers on those jugs had long since disintegrated, allowing the contents to flow out.

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