5 Sunken Ships That Are More Interesting Than The Titanic

For a significant chunk of human history, maritime domination was of utmost concern for the world’s leading powers. As the saying went, he who ruled the seas ruled the world. Given the constraints of existing technology, water was really the only viable method of covering long distances from one continent to another. Obviously, this led to many conflicts among nations, and more than a few ships found their ways to a watery grave. Some of these shipwrecks have since been recovered and transformed into spots for historical study or recreation.

HMHS Britannic

For better or worse, everyone’s already heard of the Titanic, which is why it’s been left off the list. That’s not likely the case for its sister ship, the Britannic. This ship was actually built by the same company as the Titanic – the White Star Line. The Britannic was constructed after the sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic so, obviously, some changes had to be made in order to make it stand up to its reputation. A few extra lifeboats plus a reinforced hull around the boiler room, engine room and other regions vulnerable to icebergs made for smart additions.

Sunken Ships Britannic Front

Admit it, you were thinking of that scene in Titanic Source: Gallery Hip

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30 Rockefeller Center, 1933

30 Rockefeller Center 1933

Had the stock market not crashed in 1929, there is a high likelihood that we would associate Rockefeller Center with an ornate opera house, not an ice skating rink. When John D. Rockefeller Jr. leased the space from Columbia University, he initially intended to build a Metropolitan Opera House on site, but financing troubles meant that he essentially would have to construct the building on his own.

Completed in 1939, Rockefeller Center’s construction was considered the largest private building project of modern times and one that employed a whopping 40,000 people in its nine-year development process. Interestingly enough, this private operation eventually became the site of a number of public agents like British Intelligence and the British Security Coordination, who occupied the space during World War Two.

When Texas Sprayed DDT On Citizens To Prevent Polio

Yes, this happened in San Antonio, Texas. The director of the city’s Department of Health, H.L. Crittenden, ordered the spraying of DDT along every one of over a thousand streets in May, 1946 in an ill-fated attempt to wipe out polio. A handful of other cities joined in, like Rockford, Illinois, and Paterson, New Jersey. Such an event came from the misguided notion that polio was spread by mosquitoes or other insects. Jonas Salk had yet to begin his groundbreaking work that culminated in a polio vaccine in 1955.

Learn more about the disease and the panic it caused in this short clip:

DDT Iron Lung

Many patients with the paralytic form of polio had to be cooped up in an iron lung because their chest muscles wouldn’t work–they couldn’t breathe
Source: NPR

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Mummies: People That Time Forgot

Mummies Tollund Closeup

The detailed facial features are quite remarkable
Source: 500PX

We are all familiar with the concept of mummies. But if you associate mummies only with ancient Egyptians, you’ve got a lot to learn. Corpse preservation has been practiced in all corners of the world and by all sorts of cultures, and–sorry Tut–even those whose bodies were accidentally preserved through natural means are considered mummies.

The Tollund Man

Tollund Head

Only the head was recovered from the original body
Source: Blogspot

This natural mummy was found 65 years ago in a Danish peat bog. These kinds of findings, referred to as bog bodies, aren’t that unusual. Bog conditions preserve the remains quite well, but the Tollund Man still stands out. In fact, he was so well-preserved that authorities initially mistook him for a recent murder victim. It wasn’t until later that it was determined that they were off by about 2,300 years.

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