Port Royal, Jamaica, commonly referred to as "the wickedest city on earth" conjures images of marauding pirates, daring naval conquests, looting, riches, destruction and devastation. It boats an intriguing and turbulent history as it rapidly grew to become the most important trading post in the New World. At the height of its glittering wealth, on June 7, 1692, Port Royal was consumed by an earthquake and two thirds of the town sank into the sea. A series of fires and hurricanes followed and the town was never restored to its former glory. After just 37 years of existence, the bustling city of Port Royal literally sank into the harbour in a matter of minutes, remaining perfectly preserved as it was on the day of the earthquake. At its height, Port Royal represented the global centre of the British merchant trade in the 17Ih century. Typical of an English colonial port town, yet unique in its unprecedented consumer wealth, carousing buccaneers, and thriving middle class, Port Royal was unparalleled anywhere in the world. In 1692, without warning, the dazzling city fell to a great earthquake which engulfed the town in a matter of minutes leaving behind nothing but a detailed and permanent record buried under the sea.