A team of divers have discovered sunken secrets from the depths of several shipwrecks off Quebec’s Magdalen islands.

Since May, Jean-Simon Richard, president of a local archeology and natural history museum, Musée des Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and his team of divers and researchers, have been found seven shipwrecks that, they believe, are from the 1800s, forgotten by humans for centuries.

“It was all during the summer, in the last three months,” Richard said. “We believe these are seven new shipwrecks that nobody — no diver, no researcher — has ever seen.”

Richard told CTV News that finding “just one” shipwreck is something that doesn’t happen very often. Finding seven, he says, is “very, very unusual.”

Over past centuries, hundreds of ships have sunk in the gulf of the St. Lawrence Region, but Richard explained that just over a dozen had been uncovered, until now.

Much of the discovery is only beginning.

“What we’re doing for now is just uncovering data about these shipwrecks,” he said. “So we are filming them, taking their measurements to see how long they are, and we’re looking to see if there’s anything unusual that could help to identify [them].”

Richard’s team plans on filing reports to the Receiver of Wrecks and the Ministry of Culture, in order to determine whether the wrecks warrant archeological excavations.

Five of the ships, Richard said, are small, and their proximity to shorelines means they were likely weathered by storms and ice. But the other two are larger, with the potential to carry significant artifacts in their cargo.

“One of them is at least 130 feet long,” Richard said. “We believe there’s a lot of artifacts probably on board.”

Richard explained that these wrecks have copper sheeting, along with some brass nails and pegs. These details, he said, likely indicate that these ships date back to the 1800s. He added that more research would be required to determine their complete history.

Richard adds despite registries and maps possibly archiving the history of these buried ships, nobody else has been looking for them.

“There is a registry from the 1800s and 1900s,” he said. “I’m pretty sure these shipwrecks are in [a] shipwreck book, or maps from the island, but nobody is looking for them on the islands besides our team.”

Richard explained that recent storms and shifting sand bars could have resulted in the wrecks' discovery.

He added that he plans on opening a new museum that shows uncovered wrecks.

“It’s a very nice feeling to know that we uncovered something like that and that shipwreck won’t ever be forgotten again,” he said.