The German ships, which were part of the Nazis' Black Sea fleet, were intentionally sunk in the Danube River in 1944 to prevent advancing Russian troops from seizing them. Photo by Csaba Krizsan/EPA-EFE
Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Severe drought around the world has uncovered a lot of buried history in recent months -- including a new discovery of more than a dozen German World War II ships at the bottom of a river in Serbia.
Meteorologists say that Europe is suffering through its worst drought in decades this summer. The German ships were uncovered on the bottom of the Danube River when the water level receded near the port town of Prahovo.
The Danube, the second-longest river in Europe, held the German ships for decades before the find last week. Officials say they were part of the Nazis' Black Sea fleet and were intentionally sunk in 1944 to prevent advancing Russian troops from seizing them.
The sunken ships still had almost 10,000 unexploded explosives on board, and Serbian authorities say it'll cost about $30 million to clean up the river.
Authorities said they expect more warships will be found in the Danube, also probably loaded with unexploded bombs.
Severe drought has threatened shipping routes, food supplies and electricity in Europe this summer. European researchers said this month that nearly half of the continent is under drought warning conditions.
Experts say that excessive heat and other global warming forces have significantly lowered water levels around the world, and at a quicker rate than expected. That has led to many recent discoveries -- including an ancient Roman fort in Spain and a man-made rock formation called Dolmen of Guadalperal, which is better known as the "Spanish Stonehenge."
Also uncovered this month were centuries-old dinosaur tracks in a Texas river that were made by Acrocanthosauruses and Sauroposeidons 113 million years ago.