island of Rugen
- On 09/12/2011
- In Treasure Hunting / Recoveries
By Matthew Day - The Telegraph
German maritime archaeologists claimed to have found a urinal used by Kaiser Wilhelm II lying on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
The piece of porcelain history was discovered in the wreck of the Udine, a light-cruiser which was sunk in the First World War by the Royal Navy, that now lies 28 nautical miles off the German island of Rugen.
"It was sunk by the British in 1915," said Reinhard Oser, the archaeologist leading the expedition. "We managed to take some great photographs, and made this unusual discovery."
At the time the significance of the urinal went unnoticed until later research revealed that the urinal was part of a special bathroom laid on for the emperor's convenience.
"Kaiser Wilhelm was on board the ship when it was launched in Kiel on December 11, 1902, and went on its maiden voyage," explained Mr Oser, who added the team had been surprised by the identity of the urinal's user.
The discovery of the regal lavatory has helped focus attention on the vast array of wrecks that litter the seabed of the Baltic. Archaeologists estimate that there as many as 3,000 ships, many of them victims of fighting in either the first or second world war, lie beneath the waves.