Where do ships go after death

Large and beautiful, plowing expanses of the seas and oceans, they cause admiration, but what happens after they serve their own? Well, the majority of modern metal ships are being sorted out and melted down, but some continue the “afterlife” life in the most unexpected places. Today it will be about them.


According to UN data, thousands of ships rest at the bottom of the seas and oceans of the whole world. Some of them sank in the war, others for other reasons, including wear and tear or negligence, and some may have sunk the real pirates. One way or another, if a sunken ship is not lifted from the bottom, it will soon fit into the local ecosystem, especially if it happens on the shallows in warm tropical waters, where fish, shells, and corals capture space faster than rust. Such places become real monuments of life itself, of how easily nature captures the abandoned creations of human hands and painterly paints them with its colors. It is not surprising that the ships that sank at a shallow depth attract divers – there is a special magic in sailing through the algae-covered hole in some yacht,

The Red Sea in Egypt turned out to be the richest in wrecks; at a shallow depth, there is a passenger steamer overgrown with bright corals, and a Soviet spy ship with a variety of radio equipment scattered around the sea, and the huge Japanese cargo ship Giannis D with the interior. In Hawaii, in Pearl Harbor Bay, several ships have been preserved as a monument to the war. Diving at a military base, of course, will not work, but you can visit the memorial, built on the battleship Aurora. There is a very beautiful place for diving in Bali in the Tulamben area. A small damaged cargo ship lay on the shore for a long time, but one of its earthquakes moved towards the ocean, now it is covered by a layer of water from 7 to 30 meters, and also a bright reef with numerous fish and turtles.

In desert

No less vivid, but very oppressive and sad emotions are caused by the ship graveyard in the Aralkum desert, located on the territory of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Half a century ago, the city of Minsk on the Aral Sea was a port with a developed fish and canning industry. In the 1960s, the Amudarya River flowing into the sea was partially taken away for cotton irrigation, and the Aral began to disappear before our eyes: over forty years, the water surface area has more than halved, and the once-busy port has become a ghost town. Now the huge rusted ships stand in a row, surrounded by the endless sands of the desert, children are playing on them, animals are hiding in their shadows from the scorching sun. The few remaining residents of the city of Minsk are trying to survive by attracting tourists, fortunately, there are plenty of people who want to see and shoot such a surreal picture.

Between heaven and earth

Homebush Bay in Sydney is another haven of decommissioned ships. Until the 1980s, the bay was an industrial area, where old, rusted ships were dismantled and toxic waste was recycled. Then, in order to stop spoiling the urban environment, the enterprises turned off, and the useless ships that remained afloat were abandoned in the bay for an indefinite period. One of them became a local landmark – it passed for a hundred years, the hull collapsed here and there, and real mangroves grew on board! At sunset, in soft purple tones, it seems that this floating forest soars over the surface of the bay as if it was painted by Hayao Miyazaki himself.

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