A large whale, believed to be a humpback, was spotted in the East River in New York City on Saturday. The New York Police Department’s special operations division posted a photo of the sighting on its Twitter account, with the message that “even the wildlife want to ring in” the new year in New York.
The East river where the likely humpback was spotted has shorelines in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. It is in fact not a river but a tidal salt estuary, connecting Upper New York Bay to the Long Island Sound. Like the Hudson, it has become considerably cleaner in recent years, as the polluting effects of New York’s industrial and maritime heyday have receded. keep reading
Get ready to see an amazing eclipse, a comet encounter, close planetary pairings, and more celestial wonders. more on National Geographic
There is a small town accessible only by 4WD from a long stretch of beach and positioned between two enormous sand dunes. Not many people are even aware that it exists. Tin City is steeped deep in history and serves as a time capsule from a different time period.
Dating back to the late 1800s when the settlement first started, there were only two tin huts built. They were used for shelter and contained provisions for sailors victimized by shipwrecks. 98 of which occurred along the coast between Newcastle and Nelson Bay. Keep reading on The Vintage News
*CGaptain reader Ian from Holbeach sends along the following admonishment, for which Miss Monkey Fist is most thankful:
“the scene is not the Thames in London but the banks of the River Esk where it forms the lower harbour of the town of Whitby in North Yorkshire. The buildings are on what is known as Tate Hill and the stone structure behind the boys is Tate Hill Pier. The scene is, apart from boats, virtually the same today. The photograph was taken by a local man called Sutcliffe.”
In 1498, Vasco da Gama rounded the southern tip of Africa and opened up trade routes with the Gulf, India and eventually beyond into South East Asia. Europe was transformed from being at the wrong end of the major global trade routes to being at their heart geographically, economically and strategically. Never before had the transformation of fortunes been so profound and so fast. For the first time in history, Europe became the centre of the world. keep reading
During this Shetland Islands celebration, hundreds of torch-carrying “guizers” lead a procession to burn a viking longboat
Atlas Obscure – Each year, about a month after Christmas, hundreds of torch-bearers in an assortment of silly costumes march through the streets of Lerwick to set fire to a viking longboat. Welcome to the Up Helly Aa. Keep reading
Through the Eighteenth and Ninteenth Centuries, the John Rodgers firm of Sheffield, UK rose in prominence, developing a reputation for building the finest knives in Europe.
In 1851, Rodgers exhibited this marvel at The Great Exhibition, an international trade show in London. keep reading
Old Salt – Last night in New York City, up to one million people watched a jeweled ball drop in Time Square at exactly midnight to mark the arrival of the New Year… The six ton Waterford crystal ball covered in 32,276 LED lights is not actually “dropped” but lowered from a flag pole on the roof of One Times Square. In New York City, the tradition dates back to 1908. But where did the tradition of dropping a ball to mark the time originate?
The practice dates back to 1829 and was related to helping sailors calculate their position at sea. keep reading