Ghostly ocean-floor graveyard of hundreds of ships and planes makes eerie memorial for WWII attack on Japanese Pacific base.
More than a thousand miles away from the nearest nation, at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, lies a ghostly graveyard of ships and aircraft sunk in the height of the Second World War.
More than 40 Japanese ships and 250 aircraft have their final resting place at the bottom of the Truk Lagoon, 1,118miles from Micronesia, making it the largest of its kind.
The vessels and airplanes went down during a two-day attack by the Allied forces known as Operation Hailstone, on February 16-17, 1944, destroying cruisers, auxiliaries and merchant ships which severely injured Japan's presence in the Pacific.
More than 40 Japanese ships and 250 aircraft have their final resting place at the bottom of the Truk Lagoon, 1,118miles from Micronesia
Aircraft wreck: Yokosuka D4Y Judy Dive Bomber was one of 250 planes to go down during the two-day attack by the Allies
Discovery: A diver explores the interior of the wreck of the Gosei Maru, in Truk Lagoon, Pacific Ocean
During the war, which ended seventy years ago, the Japanese used the surrounding islands of the Truk Lagoon - now known as Chuuk - as a base against the Allied forces in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Seventy-one years later the underwater grave is a popular site for divers as fish invade the decayed war wreckage.
Nick Blake, 49, from Woking, visited the site in May last year as turtles swam among the debris.
He said: 'Dives were typically about one hour, sometimes a little longer on the shallower wrecks. We would typically do three days per day and I clocked up over 30 dives during my trip.
'Whilst I had gone to Truk fully prepared to photograph wrecks, what surprised me was the diversity of subject matter on each wreck site. As well as the wreck itself and the fascinating contents of the holds, they are festooned in coral, which makes for some fantastic photo opportunities.
'Without a doubt this stunning destination, with almost 70 charted wrecks, is truly the world's wreck capital - particularly in view of the sheer number of wrecks, their preservation and stunning condition.'
The remains of the Kansho Maru which was struck by a bomb and an aerial torpedo, and a Telegraph on the wreck of the Shinkoku Maru,
Attack: The Allies' Operation Hailstone, on February 16-17, 1944, severely injured Japan's presence in the Pacific
A propeller and engine broken away from the wreck of an 'Emily' flying boat wreck, in Truk Lagoon, Micronesia
Underwater grave: The bow of the Shinkoku Maru, a ship that was sunk by two aerial torpedoes during Operation Hailstone
Trucks resting in one of the holds of the wreck of the Hoki Maru, a ship that was sunk by a torpedo in the height of the Second World War
During the war the Japanese used the islands of the Truk Lagoon as a base against the Allied forces in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
Resting: A diver explores submarine periscopes located on the wreck of the Heian Maru, in May 2014
Chuuk Lagoon (formerly known as Truk Lagoon) was Imperial Japan's main naval base in the South Pacific theater of WW2. In 1944Operation Hailstone was launched by the United States – during which 12 Japanese warships, 32 merchant ships and 249 aircraft were destroyed. Some say this is Japanese equivalent of Pearl Harbor.
Today the lagoon attracts divers from all around the world to experience some of the best wreck diving that can be found on earth. The relatively shallow waters and the vast amount of wrecks are the main factors in this being one of the best spots for wreck divers.
The bow of the MV Beau. Photo by gh0stdot.
Bridge of Nippo Maru. Photo by gh0stdot.
Another angle of the H8K airplane wreck. Photo by Peter Tee.
The bow of Nippo Maru (a cargo ship that was sunk on July 16, 1944). Photo by Lawrence Tulissi.
Forward gun on the cargo ship Nippo Maru. Photo by Lawrence Tulissi.
Trucks inside of the sunken cargo ship Hoki Maru. Photo by Lawrence Tulissi.
Random gas masks. Photo by gh0stdot.
The bow of San Francisco Maru Cargo ship. Photo by gh0stdot.
Engine room of Kensho Maru cargo ship. Photo by Lawrence Tulissi.
Engine room of the cargo ship Unkai Maru. Photo by gh0stdot.
Sunset over Chuuk Lagoon. Photo by Jesuit Volunteer Corp.