43 Legitimately Fascinating Facts About Ships That Might Surprise You

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26USS Cyclops

USS Cyclops

The USS Cyclops, which went missing in 1918 during World War 1 remains the single largest loss of life in U.S. Naval history not directly involving combat, and the fate of the ship is unknown still to this day.

27. In 1962, when USS Independence encountered the Italian ship Amerigo Vespucci, the former asked “who are you?”, after it received an answer, the American ship declared “You’re the most beautiful ship in the world.”

28. In 1991, when a cruise ship named Oceanos sank, the crew abandoned the ship leaving the passengers fend for themselves. They were all saved by guitarist Moss Hills, who radioed for help and directed the rescue operation.

29. North Korea claims to have sunk the heavy cruiser USS Baltimore and even preserved the ship that "sunk it" in a museum. The USS Baltimore was never deployed to Korea and was scrapped in 1972.

30. In 1872, a ship named Mary Celeste was discovered adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean. The last log entry was 10 days before her discovery and when another ship happened upon her, all of the provisions and belongings of the crew were perfectly intact, but the whole crew was missing.

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31HMS Birkenhead

HMS Birkenhead

When HMS Birkenhead wrecked in 1852, there were not enough lifeboats for all the passengers aboard , and the soldiers (who were being transported) famously stood firm on deck (even as the ship broke up) allowing the women and children to board the boats safely and escape the sinking.

32. Some warships used to be painted in dazzle patterns consisting of complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colors, interrupting and intersecting each other. This kind of camouflage was used extensively in World War 1 to disrupt the enemy’s depth perception.

33. During World War 2, a US Naval destroyer named USS O'Bannon won a battle against a Japanese submarine by throwing potatoes at them.

34. Anyone can travel in the huge container ships around the world as passengers for about $120 a day. Trips may last just a few days, although some travelers sign on for 60 days or even around-the-world journeys. Meals are provided, rooms are cleaned once a week and passengers do their own laundry.

35. There is a cruise ship named MS Gabriella that runs between Stockholm and Helsinki with the primary purpose of purchasing and consuming cheap alcohol.

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36Flip ship

Flip ship

The US Navy maintains a research vessel named FLIP (Floating Instrument Platform) that is designed to be capsized vertically. As a result, most rooms on it have two doors: one to use when the ship is horizontal, another when vertical.

37. As the Titanic sank, someone, unlocked the kennels holding all the passengers' pet dogs, "leading to the surreal sight of a pack of excited dogs racing up and down the slanting deck as the ship went down."

38. HMS Erebus, part of Franklin expedition which was lost for nearly 170 years was found in 2014 near an island which in the Inuit language meant “The big boat sank here.”

39. HMS Jervis, a destroyer which served in the Royal Navy during World War 2, did not lose a single crew member to enemy action despite having participated in 13 major actions and serving throughout the war.

40. When British warships enter the Thames they are required to present a barrel of rum to the Constable of the Tower (the man in command of the Tower of London) in the 'Ceremony of the Constables Dues'.

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41SMS Wolf

SMS Wolf

The Imperial German Raider SMS Wolf made the longest voyage of a warship during World War 1. When it returned to Germany it had on board 467 prisoners of war and tons of vital war plunder.

42. HMS Warspite has the most battle honors ever awarded to an individual ship in the Royal Navy and the most awarded for actions during the World War 2.

43. In 2000, USS The Sullivans destroyer was the target of a failed terror plot in the Port of Aden. The bombers' suicide boat was so overloaded with explosives that it sank. The culprits were able to salvage the explosives, and 9 months later, used them to attack the USS Cole in the same port.

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