A dog was once inducted as an official crew member of a Norwegian fighting ship during World War 2. The canine was known for breaking up fights amongst his crew-mates by putting his paws on their shoulders and calming them down. The much-loved dog was buried with full military honors. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bam…
Pelorus Jack was a dolphin that used to guide ships through a notoriously dangerous channel in New Zealand. In 1904 someone aboard the SS Penguin tried to shoot Jack with a rifle, he survived and continued to guide all ships except the SS Penguin. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pel…
In 1793, Thomas Jefferson requested a 1kg copper cylinder from France, to be used as a weight standard in adopting the metric system in the United States. The ship carrying the copper was blown off course into the Caribbean, where it was looted by pirates. npr.org/sections/thetwo-w…
Today I learned about Jack Phillips, the 25-year-old Godalming-born telegraphist was aboard the Titanic when it hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912. He stayed at his post until the ship sank, frantically contacting nearby ships, in an attempt to save hundreds of lives. His body was never found. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jac…
During D-day, the USS Texas intentionality flooded a part of itself to help provide inland fire support. It flooded the starboard torpedo blister to list the ship 2 degrees, giving the ship’s guns enough elevation to continue its mission. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS…
Today I learned about SS Baychimo, a Swedish built 1,322 ton cargo steam-ship that was left abandoned by its crew in 1931 due to fear of sinking. Surprisingly, Baychimo did not sink, but instead drifted around as a ghost ship for nearly 40 years without a crew, she was last seen in 1969. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_…
In 1832 a Japanese sailing ship travelling from Nagoya to Tokyo was blown off course. In 1834, it eventually ended up where current day Washington state is, with 3 out of 14 crew members surviving. historylink.org/File/9065
Ariana Grande grew up wealthy. Both her parents were rich corporate bosses, with their notoriety helping her get early gigs performing with orchestras and on cruise ships. collider.com/galleries/ce…
The fourth funnel on the Titanic was fake. It was for appearances only: it made the ship look bigger. It was not connected to the charcoal ovens, but it was connected to the first-class smoking room, making it a sort of oversized kitchen hood. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS…
In both World Wars, allies ships were painted with bright black and white lines. This was designed as the "opposite of camouflage." It was supposed to confused the enemy, mask their direction, and hide their speed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daz…
Sailors slept in hammocks, as they stayed well balanced even if the ship was in motion. The Royal Navy formally adopted the sling hammock in 1597 much after Columbus discovered them in the Bahamas. Sailors got so accustomed to hammocks that they even took them back on leave. portandterminal.com/a-bri…
In 1841 during a naval battle between Argentina and Uruguay, the ship from Uruguay ran out of cannonballs. The captain ordered his men to shove the hard balls of cheese they had onboard into the cannons and to fire those. The cheese tore holes in the Argentine ship's sails and killed 2 sailors. anchor.fm/foodhistory/epi…
Today I learned of an incident in which the United States provided military aid to a North Korean cargo ship captured by Somalian pirates. Three of the sailors required medical treatment which was provided by US Medics. North Korean press provided the US with positive coverage, expressing gratitude. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dai…
Columbus, ship aground on the shores of Jamaica, told the natives that if they didn't give him more supplies, God would eat the moon. He knew an eclipse was coming. It worked. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar…
The zipper brand, YKK, makes everything they use in their production processes, in-house. From the machines they use to make their zippers, to smelting their own brass - they even make the boxes they ship their zippers in. slate.com/business/2012/0…
In 1795, French Hussars captured the Dutch fleet in a cavalry charge. A frozen bay immobilized the Dutch ships and allowed horsemen to ride out and force a surrender. The Battle of Texel is the only documented occurence of a "naval" skirmish between warships and cavalry. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap…
There is a ship which can turn 90 degrees vertically, leaving most of it underwater, transforming itself into an underwater lab amusingplanet.com/2012/05…
In 2004, 260 ships were sailing under the flag of Mongolia, despite Mongolia being a landlocked country with no access to the sea globalpolicy.org/componen…
The infamous RMS Titanic had a near-identical sister ship called Olympic, nicknamed "Old Reliable", that was re-commissioned in WWI as a troop transport ship and was notable for having carried over 200,000 troops during the war and sinking a German u-boat by ramming into it head-on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS…
The Unites States Navy refers to its submarines as boats and not ships. In general, larger vessels are considered ships while smaller vessels are boats. Though modern submarines are large, they began as very small vessels or boats. The naming convention has remained through today. usni.org/magazines/naval-…
1917 Halifax explosion which occurred after a ship carrying explosive material collided. The resulting explosion was equivalent to 2989 tons of TNT, it killed over 1500 people instantly. The telegraph that warned of the explosion ended saying "Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys." businessinsider.com/moab-…
Cruise lines pay almost no taxes thanks to a maritime law loophole called "flags of convenience". Despite being headquartered in Miami, RCL and NCLH have all of their ships registered in the Bahamas. CCL has all of its ships registered in Panama. tourismconcern.org.uk/cru…
In 1714, a Norwegian captain and an English captain had a 14-hour long ship fight. Afterwards, both ships were badly damaged and the Norwegian captain was running out of ammo. He sent an envoy to the English ship, asking if he could borrow some of their ammo. They said no. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet…
Today I learned of the Mary Celeste, an American merchant ship found adrift by the Dei Gratia, intact & crew missing, in the Atlantic off the Azores in 1872, a month after leaving port. Though amply supplied and personal belongings intact, there was no sign of where or why they left. The crew was never found. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar…
Today I learned of the ancient law of General Average. If a ship carrying cargo is required to jettison some of its load to save the rest, the loss of the cargo is to be shared proportionally among interest holders. First written in law in 800BC, it continues to be declared in present-day maritime emergencies. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen…
The metal from sunken WW2 ships is of great demand in the scientific and medical fields as they have no background radiation caused by nuclear testing which can interfere with test results. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low…
The movie "Titanic" cost more to make than the actual ship en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS…
The Nazis original plan was to ship European Jews to Madagascar. jewishvirtuallibrary.org/…
During the American Revolutionary War more Americans lost their lives from neglect aboard British prison ships in New York Bay than died in all the battles of the war en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His…
In 1978, an inspection of a damaged U.S. Navy ship revealed the remnants of claws from the tentacles of a giant squid. The claws were much larger than any that had been seen by scientists, indicating that the squid was of a size substantially greater than any that had been documented. navalhistory.org/2019/06/…
After her husband was executed by the King of France, Jeanne de Clisson set off on a quest of piracy and bloody justice. She would personally behead any aristocrats on board captures ships with her ax. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jea…
Simon was a ship's cat who served on the HMS Amethyst. In 1949, during the Yangtze Incident, he received the highest medal available to military animals after surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sim…
Notorious Pirate/Pirate hunter Benjamin Hornigold once attacked a ship just to steal all of the crew member's hats. His men had gotten drunk and lost their hats during a party the night before and decided to board a ship to get replacements. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben…
Today I learned about "Stone Frigates", islands and buildings that are legally naval ships. A notable example is the HMS Diamond Rock, which was captured after battle with 16 French and Spanish ships. The Diamond Rock inflicted over 50 casualties but the captain was still court-martialled for "losing" the ship. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sto…
Slinky was invented by sheer accident. A naval engineer Richard James was designated to come up with a device that would secure equipment on ships while they rocked at sea. When he accidentally dropped the coiled wires, he was tinkering with, he saw them tumble end-over-end across the floor. smithsonianmag.com/innova…
The first battle of WWI consisted of a British ship firing a single shot at a German ship on Lake Nyasa (now Lake Malawi) in Africa, and taking the captain "prisoner." The two captains had been drinking buddies for years, and weren't about to let the war ruin it. telegraph.co.uk/travel/de…
The United States has 20 aircraft/helicopter carrier ships; the rest of the world combined has 24 globalfirepower.com/navy-…
It's actually illegal for companies like FedEx to ship "non-urgent" letters unless the customer pays at least six times the value of USPS postage. mentalfloss.com/article/2…
Today I learned about the ghost ship Deering. The ship was abandoned by the crew, who took personal belongings, navigational equipment, papers and the ship's anchor. Despite an FBI investigation, no trace of the crew or the ship's logs were ever found. Speculation ranges from a mutiny to Bolshevik pirates. nationalparks.org/connect…
During WW2, the British Navy sent ships to help defend the U.S. from German U-Boat attacks. The HMT Bedfordshire was sunk off the coast of North Carolina. A special cemetery was created in Ocracoke, NC, and is leased in perpetuity to England so that the men would be buried on British soil. historynet.com/why-a-piec…
The first European explorer to see Hawaii was Captain James Cook on Nov. 26, 1778, when he and his two ships anchored offshore of Kahului. However, he did not come ashore on Maui. As Cook sailed down Maui’s northeastern coastline, a royal double-hulled canoe approached from the Hana coastline. tourmaui.com/maui-ancient…
In 1942, after 2 U.S. military ships sank off the coast of Newfoundland the citizens of a small colonial town that recieved the surviors thought the African-Americans aboard had been covered in oil, and tried to scrub them clean. cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou…
, The SS Great Eastern, a ship designed in 1854 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel once struck a rock, causing a 83ft long hole. The passengers never noticed. 58 years later a hole just half the size sunk the Titanic. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_…
Palmerston island is one of the most isolated communities in the world, it is visited by a supply ship only twice a year and most of its inhabitants (about 70) are descended from one person who arrived there 150 years ago bbc.com/news/magazine-254…
In 1992, 28800 rubber duckys fell off a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean, and some of them even made it to Hawaii! (17000 miles away!) edition.cnn.com/2013/10/0…
The largest discovery of Viking ships was made during the excavations for the expansion of the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum in Denmark ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3W…
Disappointment Island is an uninhabited island in New Zealand. In 1868, a steel tanker crashed on the island which killed 68 people, leaving the 15 survivors waiting 18 months to be rescued. In 1907, another ship ended up crashing there and 12 men drowned. blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2018/…
When the wreckage of the two ships in Franklin's Lost Expedition were found in 2014, Britain relinquished ownership to Canada in exchange just for a few relics, human remains, and any gold found en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS…
Today I learned about dazzle camouflage, used for naval ships in WWI. It consisted of "complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other." This would make it hard for German U-boats to accurately shoot torpedoes. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daz…
During the Civil War the British never officially backed the south but did run goods to the South through the blockade and by providing the Confederate States Navy with ships. youtube.com/watch?v=M8YGM…
In 1947, a ship carrying ammonium nitrate exploded, ripping the wings off airplanes flying nearby, launching its 2 ton anchor over a mile and a half away, blowing out windows 10 miles away, decimating the entire port of Texas City and the surrounding areas, killing at least 581 people. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tex…
Almost twice as many people died in captivity on board British prison ships during the American Revolution than were killed in battle. Remains of the dead would wash ashore for years until a memorial was built to intern the remains of the Prison Ship Martyrs on top of a hill in Brooklyn. whitmans-brooklyn.org/por…
Bragging was a virtue in medieval Scandinavia and some made runestones for themselves. "Vigmund had this stone carved in memory of himself, the cleverest of men. May God help the soul of Vigmund, the ship captain. Vigmund and Γ…frid carved this memorial while he lived." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run…
Titanic crew member William Murdoch who was portrayed as shooting a passenger and then commiting suicide in the movie, was in fact last seen trying to fill as many life boats as possible and heroically went down with the ship. scottishfield.co.uk/cultu…
The exact origins of surfing are not certain, but it was first observed by Europeans on a ship in Tahiti back in 1767. Research suggests that surfing dates back to the ancient Polynesian cultures. According to data collected and myths, the chief of a tribe was the man who could surf the best. centralhome.com/Surfing-H…
Today I learned about the HMS Victory, the oldest naval ship still in commission. Commissioned in 1778, it has 242 years of service in the Royal Navy. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS…
A Revolutionary-era wooden ship was found on the site of the World Trade Center during excavations after 9/11 nationalgeographic.com/ne…
Today I learned about the Battle of Manila Bay (1898) which was a decisive victory for the US Navy where they sunk all seven Spanish cruisers plus a transport ship and only lost one American life: Chief Engineer Francis B. Randall, who died of a heart attack. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat…
Today I learned of "Unsinkable Sam," a ship cat that served during WWII for both the German and British navies, and allegedly survived three separate shipwrecks en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uns…
The SOS distress signal was created because of its easiness in morse (Β· Β· Β· – – – Β· Β· Β·). And not because it is an abbreviation of save our souls or save our ship mentalfloss.com/article/3…
Today I learned about Mrs Chippy, a male cat that took part in Shackleton's Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Originally thought a female, he was given that name because the crew thought he followed the ship's carpenter, "Chippy" McNish, like an attentive wife. A statue of Mrs Chippy is on McNish's grave. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs…
After objections from National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the submarine SSN-705 was renamed USS City Of Corpus Christi to better reflect the ship honoring the city in Texas as opposed to the Body of Christ. globalsecurity.org/milita…
The Greece's modern navy has a trireme, based on ancient Athenian designs. The ship is designed for a crew of 10 spearmen, 4 archers, 10 sailors, 5 officers, a flutist, and 170 oarsmen, with a 450 lb bronze ram for ramming other ships. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oly…
'Hello' as a greeting is credited to Thomas Edison. Hello likely derived from hullo, a expression of surprise, but was seen by Edison as good greeting for telephone conversations. Alexander Graham Bell initially used Ahoy (as used on ships) as a telephone greeting, but it didn't take off. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hel…
Liverpool was a major slaving port and its ships and merchants dominated the transatlantic slave trade in the second half of the 18th century. The town and its inhabitants derived great civic and personal wealth from the trade which laid the foundations for the port's future growth. liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/h…
The same company that made the titanic planned to build a ship larger than any other in the world but it was canceled because of the Great Depression en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oce…
The SS Richard Montgomery was an American Ship during WW2 that was carrying 7000 tons of munitions to Europe which sank and today holds thousands of tons of explosives and ammo near London. assets.publishing.service…
Today I learned about the Yellow Fleet. During the Israel-Egypt 6-Day-War, a group of 15 ships was trapped in a war-zone for 8 years (1967-1975) in the Suez Canal. While trapped the crews met regularly, socialized & founded an association for mutual support. They even issued postage stamps recognized worldwide. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yel…
Today I learned about Pedro Alonso Nino, a Black-Spanish explorer who piloted The Santa Maria on Columbus’s first voyage to America. He comes from the famed Nino Brothers. The La NiΓ±a, another of Columbus ships was actually owned by Pedro’s brother, Juan. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ped…
Today I learned that the Royal Navy's Baltic fleet in 1855 consisted of 93 ships. wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic…
An estimated 10,000 containers at sea each year are lost by container ships, usually during storms en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar…
In 1942, as Japanese torpedoes slowly sank the U.S.S. Lexington, then the second-largest aircraft carrier in the Navy’s arsenal, the crew abandoned ship - but not before breaking into the freezer and eating all the ice cream. theatlantic.com/health/ar…
In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, a Celebrity cruise ship rerouted to deliver food, water and aid to survivors in the Bahamas. Kitchen staff made around 10,000 meals & guests volunteered to pack them. nbcnews.com/news/world/af…
The curiously named US Navy ship, USS Bonhomme Richard, is actually a playful pseudonym for Ben Franklin. It was based on Franklin’s pen-name for his β€œPoor Richard’s Almanac”, and French for β€œgood man”, due to his affinity for France. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS…
Today I learned about Arthur John Priest (1887 - 1937), who was an English stoker in the 1900s - 1910s. He became famous because he survived at least five shipwrecks (including Titanic) and several other ship collisions. He gained the nickname "The Unsinkable Stoker". He died in mainland in 1937. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art…
The USS Tang (SS-306) was the most successful American Submarine of World War 2, sinking 33 ships totalling 116,454 tons, before sinking herself with a malfunctioning torpedo. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS…
Today I learned about the Terra Nova Expedition. Arriving too late, the 5-man party began their journey to the ship. Evans died after injuries and Oates, severely frostbitten, walked into a blizzard in self-sacrifice. Wilson, Bowers, and Scott were stopped by a storm and took to their tent, but never emerged. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ter…
When the ship the HMS Guardian struck an iceberg in 1789, its captain decided to stay on it with 62 people. 259 left in boats. However, the captain was able to save the ship and sail back to land. It took 9 weeks, but everyone on the ship made it. Of the 259 that left, only 15 survived. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS…
A cat named Oscar survived the sinking of three ships during WW2 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uns…
That, in WWII, twelve cargo ships just broke in half without warning, including three Liberty ships. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lib…
After the Battle of Aspern-Essling (1809), the surgeon of the Napoleonic Army Larrey, lacking salt, seasoned a horse meat bouillon for the wounded under his care with gunpowder. It was also used for sterilization in ships when there was no alcohol. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun…
For over 70 years, allied navy ships in the Pacific fought over a photo of actress Esther Williams. Ships officers would steal or take it by force, and display it in their ship’s officers mess. It was retired in 2013 after Esther Williams died. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Est…
A lake freighter launched in 1906 was in commercial service as a powered ship until 2013. The hull was then cut down to a barge and it is still active today, now in its 114th season. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_…
Today I learned of the USS Yorktown. A US navy ship that was left "dead in the water" after a member of the crew accidentally tried to divide by 0 on it's computers. This caused many of the ship's computer systems to crash, including propulsion resulting in it needing towing back to port. gcn.com/Articles/1998/07/…
The first movie about the Titanic came out 29 days after the actual ship sank, starred a real life survivor who wore what she had on the night it sank in the production, and resulted in her suffering a mental breakdown shortly after its completion. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sav…
In the 80s a British Harrier pilot got disoriented and, with less than a minute of fuel remaining, successfully landed on top of a flower shop van on the deck of a Spanish cargo ship. The ship's crew were awarded over 500,000 pounds for the safe delivery of the Harrier to the Royal Navy. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alr…
When a cruise ship started sinking in 1991, her captain abandoned ship without helping the passengers. In the end, the ships entertainers organized the evacuation. The captain even contacted them from shore and asked them how it was going. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTS…
In 1829, when pirates attacked a US ship, a man onboard managed to avoid their attention by dressing up as a priest. He put on black gown and a wide brimmed hat and stayed in his cabin. When the pirates found him, they made the sign of the cross and left. He was the only one not to be robbed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man…
The nautical terms for either side of a ship, Port and Starboard, were changed to the current terms due to the confusion caused by the old term for the left side. The terms used to be Larboard and Starboard. theodora.com/encyclopedia…
There's a 27 metre, ~1600 years old Anglo-Saxon ship buried in the Suffolk countryside en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sut…
The HMS Sussex (96) suffered a kamikaze attack from a Mitsubishi Ki-51 "Sonia" that left a dent and imprint on the side of the ship. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS…
A former Soviet ship was placed into service by the US Navy. tampabay.com/archive/2003…
Despite the Seven Years' War between Britain and France, France instructed its ships not to interfere with the Endeavour's expedition to Tahiti to observe the 1769 Transit of Venus as, it was β€˜out on enterprises of service to all mankind'. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/176…
Some pirates say they've been hired by companies to hijack a ship and "lose it" so that the companies can gain the insurance money youtu.be/GFCE0YRQkt8
For 25 years, two brothers re-gifted each other the same pair of pants, in increasingly inventive and difficult packaging, including a 600lb safe, a double-glazed window, a 16-foot rocket ship, and a crushed car, with a card that read "Merry Christmas, the pants are in the glove box". snopes.com/fact-check/pan…
Today I learned of the English succession wars which all started because 3 of England's potential heirs drowned in the English Channel. The white ship sank in 1120 with the legitimate son of Henry 1st, William, his bastard, Richard and his daughter Matilda, on board. medievalists.net/2017/01/…
In 1946 Yoshio Tamiya started a sawmill and lumber company in Shizuok, Japan. With an ample supply of raw material available, Tamiya soon began producing wooden model ships, and by the early 1950s the company had transitioned its business solely to model making and it also has a model museum speedhunters.com/2015/11/…
On Dec 20, 1987, Philippines, an estimated 4,386 people died, many of whom burnt alive in an event known as Asia's Titanic and the world's worst peacetime maritime disaster. The ship DoΓ±a Paz, w/ a capacity of 1,518 passengers sank after colliding with an oil tanker. Only 25 people survived en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_…
During a sailing competition in the 1988 South Korea Olympics, the Singapore team’s ship capsized and the two-man team was thrown overboard. They were rescued up by Lawrence Lemieux, who went off course to reach them. Lemieux finished 22nd, but was given 2nd place. He later received a medal. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law…
Today I learned about the HMS "Black Joke" a brazillion slave ship that was captured by British Admiralty and repurposed to hunt slave ships. Over it's five year career it is believed to have freed hundreds of slaves after its renaming from "Henriquetta" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS…

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