Nova Scotia gives Boston a Christmas tree every year as thanks. In 1917 a ship carrying explosives exploded near the city of Halifax, killing 1,500 people immediately and hundreds in the next few weeks. The city of Boston immediately sent doctors, supplies, and money by ship and train to help. boston.com/news/local-new…
Today I learned of the Helen, a unit of measurement based on Helen of Troy. She was known as "the face that launched a thousand ships", therefore 1 milliHelen is the amount of beauty needed to launch a single ship. The negative Helen is the power to beach ships. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hel…
HernΓ‘n CortΓ©s arrived in the New World in 1519 with six hundred men and, upon arrival, made history by destroying his ships. This sent a clear message to his men: There is no turning back. His men would have to conquer or die. Two years later, he succeeded in his conquest of the Aztec empire. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spa…
Up to 1980 there were only 5 English medieval longbows known to still exist. In 1980, 137 longbows in excellent condition were recovered from the wreck of King Henry VIII's naval ship, the Mary Rose, which had capsized in the 1500s. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eng…
On June 15th, 1944, the Captain of the USS Texas (BB-35) intentionally flooded the lower decks of the ship so that he could further extend the range of the ship's guns while firing onto the fortified German-held positions of Isigny and Carentan. houstonchronicle.com/neig…
It's thought that Titanic could have missed the iceberg by just a few feet if the ship's engines had not being reversed, as the lack of a reverse turbine for the central propeller caused the rudder to work ineffectively when compared to forward speed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin…
In 1943, a Japanese destroyer sank an American ship with JFK on board. While everyone assumed the entire crew died, 11 survived and swam to a nearby island. JFK carved a distress note on a coconut shell, and they were rescued. history.com/this-day-in-h…
The USS Arizona, sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack, had the guns of her number 2 turret salvaged. They were straightened, relined, and installed on the USS Nevada during a refit of that ship, and were later fired at the Japanese at Iwo Jima and Okinawa en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS…
In 1844, during a pleasure cruise on a US steamship, a ship's gun exploded, killing the US secretary of state, secretary of the Navy, and four other high-ranking federal officials. The disaster killed more top US government officials in a single day than any other tragedy in American history. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS…
The desk used by many presidents of the United States was named β€œResolute Desk” because it was made from pieces of wood of the HMS Resolute, a English ship discovered by an American in Artica, repaired and sent back to England as a sign of friendship between the two countries. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Res…
Ships are referred to as "she" from long tradition that they are female figures (e.g., mothers) who guide and protect its passengers and crew. iwm.org.uk/history/why-do…
The use of the term "starboard" to denote the right side of a ship is so-called because they were originally navigated with a steering oar on that side. β€œstΓ©or bord” in Old English literally means β€œsteering side”. When tying up, the dock always had to be positioned on the left, hence β€œport”. oceantimemarine.com/why-i…
Today I learned of Thales of Miletus, The first known individual to whom a mathematical discovery has been attributed. Thales used geometry to calculate the heights of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore. He is also the first known individual to use deductive reasoning applied to geometry en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tha…
In 1820, an 80-ton sperm whale attacked and sank the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts). The tragedy attracted international attention, and inspired Herman Melville to write his famous 1851 novel Moby-Dick. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ess…
There was a novel published 14 years before the Titanic sank (and well before it was built or conceptualized) about a supposedly unsinkable ship called the Titan that ultimately strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic Sea and sinks in April en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
Today I learned of the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster in which 304 people died as the Captain was the first to escape the ship without giving any directives, trapping hundreds of students in the ship while it sank. youtube.com/watch?v=5_A8d…
British sailors on the HMS Dolphin in the 18th century discovered that native Tahitian women were eager to exchange sex for iron, and they began pulling nails out. The resulting trade became so extensive that the loss of nails started to threaten the ship's structural integrity. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS…
Fruit punch was invented as an alternative to beer by men working for the British East India Company. This is because the beer on their ships went bad when they reached the Indian Ocean. They ended up using rum, fruit, and spices available in their new location to create punch. history.com/news/the-surp…
Today I learned of the Disposable Ship- As British taxes only applied to lumber on a ship, and not the lumber that MADE UP the ship, Canadian loggers began building large, barely seaworthy ships that would be broken up for timber once they reached British shores. amusingplanet.com/2019/10…
The Norwgian Navy has a strange wedge-shaped ship that chases around the Russian fleet to conduct surveillance en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FS_…
Tom Cruise rented two cruise ships to house production staff for his latest Mission Impossible movie. cruisehive.com/cruise-lin…
Concrete Ships were a thing more than a curiosity for enthusiasts. Actually served on WWI, and WWII, were involved in D-Day where they were used for fuel and munitions transportation. Many are abandoned as them were never formally scraped and simply abandoned after decomission amusingplanet.com/2015/11…
"women and children first" when evacuating a sinking ship has never been maritime law. It is more common for men to survive shipwrecks than women, and children have the lowest chances of survival. The Titanic is an exception; 75% of women survived compared to only 17% of men. abc.net.au/news/2012-07-3…
The Golden Gate Bridge's famed color, "International Orange" selected by architect Irving Morrow for aesthetics and for visibility in fog, won out over the US Navy's preferred color scheme. The Navy wanted it black with yellow safety stripes --the better for ships to see it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gol…
Construction workers at the new World Trade Center site in NYC stumbled upon the hull of an 18th century Philadelphia sloop active in colonial-era Caribbean trade. Tree-ring scientists at Columbia University found that the wood used to build the ship were felled in 1773. history.com/news/tree-rin…
The largest ship ever built was an oil tanker, the Seawise Giant. Fully loaded, its displacement was over 650,000 tons. The heaviest ship of any kind, it drew so deep it was incapable of navigating even the English Channel. It was longer than the Empire State Building is tall. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea…
Cruise Ships have complimentary morgues that can hold up to 10 bodies, as seniors tend to be the primary customers. Not so recently this service was booming. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cru…
In 1961, as the 17th century Swedish war ship Vasa was being lifted from the sea, statue of a runner was found on board, momentarily baffling scientists. It was placed there as prank by Finnish students on their way to party in Stockholm. ayy.fi/en/student-culture…
In WW2 they used special smoke screens that were that were half a mile long and hundreds of feet tall to hide ships and blimps from enemies. youtube.com/watch?v=fJr9f…
Today I learned of the MT Vulcanus, a freighter ship that was converted into an incinerator ship to burn hazardous waste, including Agent Orange from the Vietnam War. The ship burned hazardous waste at sea in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, and South Pacific from 1972 until 1990. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MT_…
Before the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in World War 1 the German Embassy in New York opted to put a warning in 50 newspapers advising passengers not to board the ship en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin…
The USS Pueblo, captured by North Korea in 1968 and currently on display there as a museum ship, is the only ship of the U.S. Navy still on the commissioned roster currently being held captive. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS…
A public poll in 2016 for the name of the new British Antarctic Survey ship selected "Boaty McBoatface" as the clear winner. The ship was instead called the RRS Sir David Attenborough but Boaty McBoatface was still used as the name for the ship's remote controlled submersible. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RRS…
Around 1853, future general William Tecumseh Sherman was shipwrecked twice in one day while sailing to meet business partners in California. The ship he was on, the S.S. Lewis, sank about a day's journey from its destination. A logging schooner that came to Sherman's rescue also sank. thehistorianshut.com/2017…
Cats were often mascots on Navy ships in WWII. They kept the rodent population down and improved morale for the crew! purr-n-fur.org.uk/featuri…
A 3500 year old Egyptian obelisk was encased in an iron cylinder and then rolled into the sea. With the addition of a bow, rudder, mast, and a bridge for crew accommodation the cylinder was turned into a ship and sailed to London, England, where it arrived three months later in January 1878 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cle…
In 1901, the first car which was insured at Lloyd's of London was covered by a marine policy. Cars were such a novelty that the underwriter wrote a normal marine policy for the car, on the basis that it was a ship navigating on dry land news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/busin…
Pilots of the Royal Air Forces bombed and strafed a german flotilla in May 1945, just 5 days before the end of the war. This fleet was (unknown for the pilots) heavily laden with concentration camp prisoners and some SS personel. From over 7800 inmates on two ships just 400 survived. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_…
"knotty pine" paneling was made popular in New England homes because ship captains requested their ship quarters be well-outfitted with knot-free pine. The shipbuilders took the leftover knotty pine to use in their own homes. thisoldhouse.com/westerly…
During WWI, The British would send decoy Merchant β€˜Q-Ships’ to known areas of U-Boat activity. When the U-Boats surfaced, the β€˜crew’, would make a show of abandoning ship. Suddenly the Q-ship's panels would drop to reveal hidden deck guns, which would then open fire, sinking the enemy vessels. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q-s…
The first Anglo-Dutch War began because a Dutch ship was too slow to dip their flag in salute to a British fleet. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat…
Today I learned of Grace O'Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland. Folkore says that she once rallied her crew and successfully defended her ship from a pirate ambush an hour after giving birth at sea. rmg.co.uk/discover/explor…
Today I learned of Samuel L. Gravely Jr. He was the first African American in the U.S. Navy to serve aboard a fighting ship as an officer, the first to command a Navy ship, the first fleet commander, and the first to become a flag officer, retiring as a vice admiral. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam…
In 1717, notorious pirate Benjamin Hornigold and him team attacked a ship off the coast of Honduras to steal all the hats on board as theirs' have been lost while partying drunk the night before. They stole all the hats and left the ship without causing any other trouble to the crew members. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben…
During Napoleon's exile on Saint Helena, no ship could leave the island until the governor laid eyes on him to make sure he doesn't escape. Napoleon sometimes hid just to cause problems to ships trying to leave the harbour youtu.be/Wp8J0fazMT0
Today I learned about a Confederate sabotage device called a coal torpedo, which was a bomb designed to look like a lump of coal and meant to cause a steam ship's boiler to explode en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coa…
Intoxicated sailors started a 20-year-long English civil war by drunkenly crashing a ship and drowning all except one potential heir for King Henry I, leading to a royal succession crisis. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whi…
In 1889, the USS Trenton was in Samoa when a cyclone struck, ravaging the harbour. The ship lost steam and rudder, and was in imminent danger of foundering on the reef, so the entire crew went into the port rigging, the mass of bodies forming a sail. When the wind struck, the ship steered away en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS…
Today I learned about the Moskva, an ice breaking ship from Russia that saved 2,000 trapped Beluga whales who didn't leave at first, but followed the ships classical music. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mos…
Today I learned about Chuuk Lagoon and Operation Hailstone where, in 1944, the US Navy sank over 40 Japanese ships and destroyed more than 250 aircraft. It was described as "Japan's equivalent of Pearl Harbor". One submarine, Shinohara, which had taken part in Pearl Harbor, sank while trying to dive for cover. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu…

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