Tourist in the Micronesian archipelago of Palau have stumbled across the gravesite of a long lost WWII aircraft. The doomed flight believed to be a Japanese Aichi E13A was discovered by kayakers peacefully lying at the bottom of the island’s striking riverbed. The remarkable finding shared on Imgur reveals that the plane is incredibly still intact, lying upside with its wings sprawled across the tropical grotto.
While the circumstances regarding how the plane got there in the first place are unnerving, people across the internet have pointed out the eerie fact that this peaceful holiday destination was once a war zone. “So peaceful looking there, can you imagine how crazy the crash must've been? Silence shattered, trees snapping, engine screaming, splash,” one user wrote.
Another shared: “If was the pilot that died with that plane, I'd be happy with my final resting spot. So beautiful and serene.” One person said: “Looks like a movie set or the beginning or end of a novel.”
Aviation historian and seaplane pilot Paul Beaver told MailOnline Travel that the plane is Japanese. He said: “It's an A13 floatplane. It is inverted and has lost its floats. This is a rare beast.”
There are over 60 wrecks from WWII throughout Palau. A mixture of Japanese ships and planes found their final resting place in the waters of Micronesia. They have been dubbed the Lost Fleet of the Rock Islands, also known as the "wreck capital of the world".
An increasingly popular location, Palau is described by Lonely Planet as “scenically magical”. “For such a tiny area of land, it packs a big punch. It's hard not to be overwhelmed by its extraordinary array of natural wonders: this is an archipelago of pristine limestone and volcanic islands, blanketed in emerald forest, surrounded by a shimmering turquoise lagoon.”