The Utah Department of Natural Resources is reporting the wreckage of a 1930s-era ship that has been discovered in the receding waters of the Great Salt Lake.

The ship is the remains of the W.E. Marsh No. 4, visible just off the observation deck of the Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina.

The ship’s legacy: Department of Natural Resource officials say the W.E. Marsh No. 4 was part of the Southern Pacific Railroad fleet used to help construct and maintain the Lucin Cutoff railroad trestle across the northern end of the lake. It was last seen afloat in 1936. 

The state agency is offering a way to learn more about the wrecked ships of the the Great Salt Lake with a day hike on Jan. 1. Visitors will join park rangers for the event. Pre-registration is required. Sign up here.

A shipwreck is visible in the Great Salt Lake after being uncovered by a storm in 2020. Low water levels have exposed once sunken ships, including this ship that was part of the Southern Pacific Railroad fleet used to help construct and maintain the Lucin Cutoff railroad trestle across the northern end of the lake. | Utah Department of Natural Resources

Mysteries revealed: Beyond shipwrecks at both the Great Salt Lake and the dwindling Lake Mead, low water levels at reservoirs and lakes due to the drought are telling tales of the past.

The remains of at least six bodies have been found at the shrinking Lake Mead, as well as several previously sunken ships.

As CNN reports, one body found was from a drowning victim from 2002, while the first gruesome discovery on May 1 was a mob-style killing of a man stuffed in a barrel who had suffered a gunshot wound.

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The body in the barrel remains under forensic investigation.

Investigators quickly determined the body belongs to a homicide victim who died in the mid-’70s to early ’80s. Medical examiners have been trying to identify the person through DNA analysis, though the advanced decomposition of the remains makes identification challenging, said Clark County Coroner Melanie Rouse, who was quoted by CNN.

Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, has dropped to perilous levels and officials suspect they will find more bodies sooner, rather than later.

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Officials also found a half submerged World War II era B-29, revealed by the worst drought in 12 centuries that has gripped North America in the West.

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While officials are pleased with the snowfall so far this year, it won’t be enough to lift us out of this drought. Several years with ample snow are needed.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday, puts all of Utah in some forms of drought, including a swath of central Utah that clings to the extreme drought category.

Lake Powell, which is also at historic lows since it first started to fill in the 1960s, revealed an old railroad trestle not seen since 1962. More is likely to be found there as well.

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