British archaeologists believe they have uncovered the remains of the ship Charles Darwin used to sail across the world.

Marine archaeologist Robert Prescott of Scotland's University of St. Andrews told London's Observer newspaper that he is "quietly confident" that the Beagle has been located.

The ship's fate has been a mystery for more than a century.

Using advanced ground-penetrating radar, archaeologists believe they've found the Beagle under more than three meters of mud in a river estuary near a long-abandoned dock in Essex, England.

A radar image of the spot shows a vessel similar in size to the famous ship.

The evidence suggests the bulk of the ship is intact and could be raised and restored. Scientists are hoping the hull will have some remnants of Darwin's historic journey across the world, during which he developed his theories of natural selection.

Darwin's theories were published in 1859 under the title On the Origin of Species. It was attacked by Christians, but eventually became accepted as one of the most important scientific theories in history.

Darwin sailed aboard the Beagle for five years starting in 1831. He carried out detailed surveying of South America and the Galapagos Islands.