08/31/2011 02:34 pm ET Updated Oct 31, 2011

Blackbeard Wreck Authenticated: Shipwreck Off North Carolina Confirmed As Famed Pirate's Ship (VIDEO)

Officials in North Carolina have confirmed that a wreck discovered off the state's coast in 1996 once belonged to the infamous pirate known as Blackbeard.

National Geographic reports that, following 15 years of uncertainty, there were two reasons that experts are now certain that the shipwreck is Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge.

The huge size of the wreck, and the huge number of weapons found in the surrounding area, confirmed to the experts that the ship did indeed once belong to Blackbeard.

The International Business Times reports that there was further evidence linking the ship to Blackbeard:

[Archaeologists found] apothecary weights stamped with tiny fleurs-de-lis, royal symbols of 18th-century France, as the Queen Anne's Revenge was a former French ship, Le Concorde, captured by Blackbeard in 1717.