Latest Update from the Mary A Whalen at Portside NY:
David Levine contributed a useful word of the day: farpotshket. Yiddish for “broken because someone tried to fix it.” Our wheelhouse windows and doors qualify for that… Thank you Richard Evans for your hours of meticulous work undoing those errors of the past. Here John Weaver and Chiclet inspect a prior poor repair.
Smithsonian: The wood-boring shipworm has bedeviled humans for centuries. What’s its secret?
It’s easy to see why early naturalists classified members of the family Teredinidae as worms instead of clams. They possess ropy, translucent bodies that, depending on species and environment, may grow longer than a meter. The valves of their shells perch atop their heads like tiny helmets and bristle with rows of tooth-like protrusions. These allow shipworm larvae to drill into the surface of submerged wood, then burrow along the grain as they grow, funneling the shavings into their mouths, and turning wood into both a protective shell and a meal.
Teredo navalis, the naval shipworm, is a species of saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Teredinidae. This species may have originated in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, but has spread around the world. It tunnels into underwater piers and pilings and is a major cause of damage and destruction to submarine timber structures and the hulls of wooden boats. Teredo_navalis on wikipedia
Many animals have been used in cartography to represent countries or landmarks, but one in particular has developed a stranglehold: the menacing, tentacled octopus.
“I can’t think of a good octopus,” says PJ Mode, the collector of over 800 persuasive maps that are in the process of being digitized at Cornell University Library. “It’s a great symbol of grasping, overreach, and evil.” keep reading
First, let’s be clear: in the ocean, mucus is king. On land, mucus is tragically confined to various animal orifices, unable to last long outside a moist environment. But in the ocean, slime is everywhere.
The larvacean species known as Bathochordaeus charon was first described by master jelly biologist Carl Chun in 1900. He named this ghostly creature after the first sight a Greek soul might see after death: Charon, the ferryman of Hades who shepherds souls across the river Styx and into the underworld. The name is fitting for such an evanescent creature. But in the 100 years since Chun’s work, this giant larvacean of the underworld was rarely seen, making some people wonder if it was even real. (Deep Sea News)
This week, Scientists have confirmed the finding of (that) strange, elusive creature that hasn’t been conclusively seen since it was first described in 1900. The mysterious, blob-like animal was collected by a remotely operated vehicle deep in California’s Monterey Bay by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. The translucent, tadpole-shaped creature itself is about three and a half inches long.
WEST YARMOUTH – The story of the Whydah pirate ship, which sank off the coast of Wellfleet in 1717, and its discovery more than 385 years later is now the subject of a planned film.
Whydah Productions has acquired the motion picture film rights to the story about how explorer Barry Clifford found the ship with a treasure of gold and silver onboard, according to a statement from local author and Whydah Productions founder Casey Sherman.
Sherman and his partner, Ted Collins – both from Cape Cod – will produce the film, according to the statement. The film is expected to include the story of how Clifford and John F. Kennedy Jr. searched for the ship, which was found again in 1985, as well as the story of the ship’s captain, Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy.
more: Black Sam Bellamy, the Pirate Who Fought Smart, Harmed Few, & Scored Big on The New England Historical Society
Give a woman some data, and she’ll change the science world. From Smooth to Bumpy, How Marie Tharp changed our view of the sea floor on Deep Sea News
Located off the coast of Espírito Santo, an island belonging to the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, is a vast undersea junkyard of military trucks, jeeps, bulldozers, tractors, unopened boxes of clothing and cases of Coca-Cola create. It’s called the Million Dollar Point, so named for the millions of dollars’ worth of US military equipment that was dumped in the ocean at the end of the second world war.
The island was used by the Americans during WWII as their primary military supply and support base and headquarters for major navy and army units operating in the Pacific. It was the second largest US base in the Pacific after Hawaii, and had over 40,000 troops stationed permanently on base. Being a supply base meant that it had everything that was required to sustain troops fighting the war.
Once the war ended, the Americans were faced with the problem with what to do with all the military equipment that had accumulated. The colonial authorities thought that if they refused to buy it, the Americans would have to leave everything behind, and the British and French would get everything for free. So they dumped it in the drink, instead.
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden stated in a release that the LOC “will be sharing some beautiful, one-of-a-kind historic maps that I think people will really love. They are available online and I hope even more people discover them through DPLA.” Specifically, the initial records will involve 5,000 objects from the LOC Geography and Map Division, including those charting the American Revolution and the late 18th century, the American Civil War, and panoramic maps. keep reading
Seventy five years after the attack that drew the United States into World War II, thousands gathered in Hawaii to commemorate the anniversary.