The Mary Celeste (often incorrectly referred to as Marie Celeste) was a brigantine merchant ship notably discovered in December 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and apparently abandoned, despite the fact that the weather was fine and her crew had been experienced and able seamen. The Mary Celeste was in seaworthy condition and still under sail heading towards the Strait of Gibraltar. She had been at sea for a month and had over six months' worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the personal belongings of passengers and crew were still in place, including valuables.
The crew was never seen or heard from again. Their disappearance is often cited as the greatest maritime mystery of all time. The fate of her crew has been the subject of much speculation. Theories range from alcoholic fumes, to underwater earthquakes, to waterspouts, to paranormal explanations involving hypothetical extraterrestrial, unidentified flying objects, sea monsters, and the hypothetical phenomena of the Bermuda Triangle, although the Mary Celeste is not known to have sailed through the Bermuda Triangle area.
The Mary Celeste is often described as the archetypal ghost ship, since she was discovered derelict without any apparent explanation, and her name has become a synonym in British culture for similar occurrences.