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Land ahoy indeed.
July 15, 2010 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Workers have discovered the hull of an 18th century ship beneath the rubble of ground zero.
posted by Lutoslawski (105 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
No fucking way.
posted by Think_Long at 2:17 PM on July 15, 2010


Oh shit it's Noah's Ark!
posted by ND¢ at 2:18 PM on July 15, 2010


Wasn't this in that Nick Cage movie?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:19 PM on July 15, 2010


...Well, I'll be New Amsterdamned.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:20 PM on July 15, 2010 [17 favorites]


Fascinating article, though my first thought was "Why are they excavating in Hiroshima?"
posted by yath at 2:20 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Apparently 18th Century Terrorists tried to preemptively destroy Ye Olde Worlde Trayde Centre by crashing a ship into it.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:20 PM on July 15, 2010 [58 favorites]


No doubt run aground there in retaliation for US aggression in the Barbary Wars.
posted by felix betachat at 2:21 PM on July 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is really going to fuck with the conspiracy theories.
posted by Artw at 2:21 PM on July 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


Obligatory.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:22 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The thing that blew my mind about this story was: they think that this was a landfill created so that there would be more manhattan in the Hudson?

Even way back then there wasn't enough space on the island!
posted by angrycat at 2:22 PM on July 15, 2010


There's no way jet fuel burns hot enough to travel that far back in time.
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:22 PM on July 15, 2010 [25 favorites]


No! You fools! That was the keystone of the landfill! Now there's nothing to stop the Hudson River from washing away lower Manhattan!
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 2:23 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wonder what odds you would have got on 9/12/2001 that it was more likely that archeologists would find an 18th century ship beneath the foundations of the Twin Towers than the entire US military would find Osama.
posted by ob at 2:23 PM on July 15, 2010 [99 favorites]


It's thought that the ship and the anchor, along with other fragments, were used at one time to fill in land in order to expand Manhattan further into the Hudson River.

And from the video, apparently the time of the fill was "the early 1800s."

It is nice to have something cool like this happen at a site that evokes such melancholy.
posted by bearwife at 2:25 PM on July 15, 2010


Well it was probably part of the bay, back in the day. Castle Clinton was on an island, originally.
posted by Danf at 2:26 PM on July 15, 2010


It's probably one of the last things excavators were planning on unearthing at Ground Zero: an 18th century ship.

The list of the last things the excavators were planning on unearthing at Ground Zero:

1. Galactus
2. A second set up Twin Towers, built upside down, straight into the ground
3. The Spanish Inquisition
4. Penn and Teller filming an episode of Bullshit that actually sides with the truthers
5. Jimmy Hoffa
6. Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
7. A time capsule with a singing frog in it
8. A hellmouth
9. A single, weeping American eagle
10. An old boat

Whoah; it really was the last thing!
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:26 PM on July 15, 2010 [96 favorites]


I believe they also found a boat relic in Toronto when they excavated for the Skydome.
posted by GuyZero at 2:27 PM on July 15, 2010


But then the built the Expo '86 site in vancouver, they only found Relic from The Beachcombers.
posted by GuyZero at 2:28 PM on July 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


9. A single, weeping American eagle

If they wanted to find him, he's for sale on a rack of car decals at a gas station in Tomah, WI, right next to some "Illegal Immigrant Hinting Permits." You could probably find an old boat around there, too.
posted by COBRA! at 2:29 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I hope their top men are working on it.

Castle Clinton was on an island, originally.

I just pictured skull island except with this face.
posted by griphus at 2:30 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


One day you might find a boat that's actually old.
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought there was another one:

11. $24 in glass beads.

But I guess it's still true; it is one of the last things they were planning on unearthing.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:33 PM on July 15, 2010


Astro Zombie: "2. A second set up Twin Towers, built upside down, straight into the ground"

What is the World Trade Center but a miserable pile of secrets?
posted by boo_radley at 2:33 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


griphus - alternate designs
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on July 15, 2010


AZ's list. In tears. Yes.
posted by DU at 2:35 PM on July 15, 2010


It'd be pretty funny if they found Dick Cheney's undisclosed location down there.
posted by Artw at 2:35 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


One day you might find a boat that's actually old.

I know you are here in Seattle, ArtW, but this comment seems somehow veddy veddy British . . . oh these colonials! Thinking 200 years is a long time!
posted by bearwife at 2:35 PM on July 15, 2010


In Seattle buildings from the 70s are considered pretty impressive and old.
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


7. A time capsule with a singing frog in it

I think about that cartoon nearly every single day of my life. And I consider that a blessing.

send me a kiss by wire.... baby my heart's on fire... if you abuse me, honey you'll lose me and you'll be left alone, so baby telephone and tell me I'm your own *big finish*
posted by GuyZero at 2:37 PM on July 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Okay so if you pause the video right at the :39 sec mark, you can see a shape that clearly isn't distinguishable in any photos of 18th century ships-- and it's shaped exactly like the cannon that went 'missing' under General George Washington's command.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:39 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wasn't this in that Nick Cage movie?

The best part is that you can choose any of at least four Nic Cage movies and this will still make sense.
posted by uncleozzy at 2:39 PM on July 15, 2010 [24 favorites]


HOWDITGETBURNEDHOWDITGETBURNEDHOWWDDDITGETBURRRRRNED

-- Nicolas Cage in Loose Change: 1817.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:41 PM on July 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


Obligatory.

Actually, no.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:43 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not actually going to be Dutch, is it? I mean 18th century is surely too late for it to be Dutch, isn't it?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:45 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it Ghostbusters 2?
posted by Kirk Grim at 2:47 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


4. Penn and Teller filming an episode of Bullshit that actually sides with the truthers

I don't think that would be surprising in the least.

In Seattle buildings from the 70s are considered pretty impressive and old.

You need to take the underground tour, sir!
posted by P.o.B. at 2:49 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


WOW. Oh wow.
posted by zarq at 2:50 PM on July 15, 2010


... and 20 chapters later Dirk Pitt has made that boat seaworthy again, and uses it to destroy the Al-Qaeda fortress.
posted by kurumi at 2:51 PM on July 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


"Illegal Immigrant Hinting Permits."

"I'm not saying there's any illegals around here, but...er... let's just hope the INS doesn't investigate my root cellar ifyaknowwhatimean."
posted by grubi at 2:54 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I know you are here in Seattle, ArtW, but this comment seems somehow veddy veddy British

ArtW is British.
posted by grouse at 2:55 PM on July 15, 2010


I mean 18th century is surely too late for it to be Dutch, isn't it?

Oh! You don't know about Peter Stuyvesant's Machina Temporum, do you? N00b.
posted by grubi at 2:58 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it's more like it's mad fucking British too right yeah?
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:04 PM on July 15, 2010


I love New York archaeology (like the 18th century corpses found under Washington Square Park a couple of years ago), but I kind of wish they'd leave this stuff in the ground so that in a thousand years, after President Palin's re-education campaigns, the nuclear holocaust, a several century long dark age and a Re-Renaissance, after English retires to its place as a scholarly lingua franca because everyone's speaking dialects of Mandarin, some guy who thinks he invented archaeology can have a fucking field day digging this entire island apart.
posted by oinopaponton at 3:05 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


One day you might find a boat that's actually old.

The Mary Rose? Old? People laugh at the youth of the ships you Brits uncover.
posted by deanc at 3:25 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]



ArtW is British.

But living here in Seattle and mocking us for our efforts to preserve 40 year old buildings?

Feel veddy, veddy stupid now.
posted by bearwife at 3:29 PM on July 15, 2010


More on the 1982 discovery of a similarly submerged frigate hull on Water Street.
posted by ursus_comiter at 3:38 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Mary Rose? Old? People laugh at the youth of the ships you Brits uncover.

Some say Turkey can do older than that.
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


under the paving stones, the beach
posted by emhutchinson at 3:56 PM on July 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


I could've sworn reading that when they were digging the original foundation for the WTC, they found the burnt timbers of a ship that had caught fire and sank; my initial reaction was that it was this same ship, although from the first link it seems that they're excavating below the WTC foundation level.

Anyway, the landfill that has extended the shoreline around lower Manhattan isn't necessarily there to create more real estate, but as a result of landscaping and excavation for building in Manhattan, particularly the lower end of the island. (Battery Park City, for example, is constructed on landfill from the WTC, as well as sand dredged from New York Harbor.) A lot of Manhattan geography has changed considerably from the original--The Collect, for example, was a big pond in lower Manhattan that was used recreationally at first, then polluted by industrial waste, and finally filled in by leveling a nearby hill.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:57 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh shoot, sorry guys. My Bad. Turns out I was sooooo not as good at sailing as I thought I was.
posted by The Whelk at 4:00 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The best part is that you can choose any of at least four Nic Cage movies and this will still make sense.

Which is more than you can say for the movies.
posted by ZsigE at 4:03 PM on July 15, 2010


I love my copy of Mannahatta, and if you are in the least interested in this you would probably love a copy too. It is amazing how much archaeology gets packed into New York City, per square foot.

(And, yes, even so, it's nowhere near a European city. My favorite discovery unearthed during city construction is the London find of a petrified Viking deuce on the site of the Lloyd's of London building.)
posted by Countess Elena at 4:07 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Some say Turkey can do older than that.

England definitely can.
posted by jontyjago at 4:10 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Mary Rose? Old? People laugh at the youth of the ships you Brits uncover.

I'll see your 11th century Byzantine ships, and raise you a couple of 6th century Anglo Saxon ship burials at Sutton Hoo and Snape cemetery. The biggest problems with getting decent finds were grave-robbers from at least the 16th century.

BTW - traditionally with archaeology finds oinopaponton, they do leave some areas undisturbed, for later excavation by those who come after with better tools. They only excavate the whole site when other construction work will destroy the entire area anyway.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:12 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


In Seattle buildings from the 70s are considered pretty impressive and old.

Ha, I remember when I was in elementary school in Austin doing an "archaeology" project and then getting to go on an actual dig to excavate a house that might be over 100 years old! My parents were less impressed than I was.

"[kmz], in Beijing you can walk down any old hutong and see ordinary buildings that were built hundreds of years ago and which are still lived in."

I wonder how true that is nowadays as it seems the government is busy tearing down any signs of non-modernity to build giant skyscrapers. (Outside of the tourist spots, of course.)
posted by kmz at 4:12 PM on July 15, 2010


San Francisco is built on buried ships like this one.
posted by gingerbeer at 4:24 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


And I know it's veddy veddy British to scoff at 'merely' 18th century... It's just that 1800 (end of the 18th) was when we were fighting Napoleon, and that wasn't very long ago at all, really. The english civil war was in the 1640's, and we learned about that quite a lot at school. I mean, you can easily go back to the 6th and 7th century, and visit a saxon village. Or maybe visit the Roman Baths at Bath, quite near to me, which were supposedly first built in 836 BC. If you don't trust Geoffrey of Monmouth on that (and I don't blame you) we definitely know the Romans developed the place in 60-70AD - they called it Aquae Sulis - after the celtic name.

Or hell, stonehenge is just up the road from me, and that dates from 3100BC. Not bad, for a bunch of celts. Or Avebury just down the road from there, which is 5000 years old too and even bigger.

So for us, 200 or 300 odd years just isn't *that* old really, when we're surrounded by things and places that come from pre Jesus Christ. And don't get started on places like Egypt or Greece, large chunks of which are now sitting in the British Museum. We're not trying to be superior, honestly. It's just old for us, means really, really, thousands of years old. 100 years ago? Seems like last week...
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:28 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


3. The Spanish Inquisition

literally died laughing. Then somehow came back to life.
posted by h0p3y at 4:33 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is 4500 years old ancient enough to win the contest?
posted by darkstar at 4:36 PM on July 15, 2010


Not that this find isn't cool. Buried ship under the world trade center? Nifty! It's just that that's about the age of my parents neighbour's house...
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:37 PM on July 15, 2010


stonehenge is just up the road from me

To be fair to Seattle, we have one of those just down the road as well.
posted by Artw at 4:40 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


100 years ago? Seems like last week...

Whilst it's oh-so-easy to laugh at the Yanks who come over here and call everything "quaint" and are unable to pronounce Leicester and then scoff at them because they call things that are over 20 years old, it really is so very tired and lazy. Please stop it.

The British refer to Ben Nevis as a mountain. Do we need reminding every time that compared to peaks in other countries it is a mere pimple?

This is an unusual find in an unusual and highly significant place, and yes, there are things older than this in the UK. Smile, tut indulgently and smugly, safe in the knowledge of your own cultural heritage and keep it to yourself. There's no need to start a pissing match. You'll win, however nobody cares but you.
posted by jontyjago at 4:53 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Stonehenge is just up the road from me

To be fair to Seattle, we have one of those just down the road as well.


Oww! Mean, mean Brits on this thread, just rubbing it in.

And there is no real defense: this is apparently the oldest brick building in Washington state.
posted by bearwife at 4:58 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, we do have some mysterious, old, spooky weird shit.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on July 15, 2010


The Washington Post is calling this ship "ancient". Hee hee hee.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:03 PM on July 15, 2010


Somewhere, somehow, pirates will be blamed.
posted by HFSH at 5:03 PM on July 15, 2010


And when they finally pull it out a Balrog will be loosed upon Manhattan.
posted by bwg at 5:19 PM on July 15, 2010


And when they finally pull it out a Balrog will be loosed upon Manhattan.

Eh, lots of lawyer bars there, we'll just get em' drunk.
posted by The Whelk at 5:20 PM on July 15, 2010


Is 4500 years old ancient enough to win the contest?

Nope. They've found 6000+ year old dugout canoes in Florida.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:27 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


darkstar, apparently not.. try 7,000 years?
posted by mbatch at 5:32 PM on July 15, 2010


Recently they found a ship under the Old Bank Building in Wellington, New Zealand.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:36 PM on July 15, 2010


Oooo! I can see boats lasting several millennia in the Kuwaiti desert, but such canoes in Florida would be rather more impressive. Any links to that?
posted by darkstar at 5:39 PM on July 15, 2010


Ah, this one mentions it. Awesome! I didn't realize those had been discovered, so thanks for the heads up!
posted by darkstar at 5:41 PM on July 15, 2010


ArkhanJG, it's so nice to hear someone from Europe talk about the timelines like this. I remember having to explain to friends in Ireland that, for North Americans, 500 years is ancient history.
posted by LN at 5:43 PM on July 15, 2010


The Sutton Hoo burial must be one of our best excavated ships in the UK, though no doubt those damned Byzantines have a whole fleet tucked away somewhere.
posted by Abiezer at 5:44 PM on July 15, 2010


Little movie of the find of a roman ship during the building of a new quarter of my home town Utrecht.
posted by joost de vries at 6:02 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


So for us, 200 or 300 odd years just isn't *that* old really

It's all about calibrating your historical imagination. Depending on how far back you stand, the Roman empire wasn't really all that long ago.

And I speak as a damn colonial.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:13 PM on July 15, 2010


ArkhanJG, it's so nice to hear someone from Europe talk about the timelines like this. I remember having to explain to friends in Ireland that, for North Americans, 500 years is ancient history.

That's the old saying. To Americans 100 years is a long time. To Europeans 100 miles is a long way.

darkstar, apparently not.. try 7,000 years?

Ack! Freerepublic link! Beware!
posted by kmz at 6:13 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Almost 10 years on and it's still mostly just a big hole in the ground.
Yeah.
posted by nightchrome at 6:24 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]



This is an unusual find in an unusual and highly significant place, and yes, there are things older than this in the UK. Smile, tut indulgently and smugly, safe in the knowledge of your own cultural heritage and keep it to yourself. There's no need to start a pissing match. You'll win, however nobody cares but you.


Yes, it's an interesting, unusual and cool find, and I've even said that. I honestly don't feel smug, or superior simply because I happen to be born in any given country. After all, American history goes back a helluva long way, it's just most of it wasn't really written prior to colonial arrival.

I honestly wasn't trying to have a pissing match, nor do I think Brits are generally being smug about it - I'm just trying to explain where it comes from, and why Brits (and europeans in general) have a different perception of age than Americans. We grow up surrounded by things and places that are, simply, very old on a human scale. I'm hoping to go and see the Lascaux cave paintings (or rather the replica site, they don't let people near the originals any more) when I'm on holiday next month, and they're 17,000 years old!

So no, I'm not laughing. I'm not thinking it's 'quaint'. If anyone has a claim to the oldest human civilization, it's probably the Iraqis - or rather, the Sumerians.

That's the old saying. To Americans 100 years is a long time. To Europeans 100 miles is a long way.

Indeed.
posted by ArkhanJG at 6:50 PM on July 15, 2010


Everyone knows the other hellmouth is in Cleveland.
posted by double bubble at 6:58 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Or to put it another way, that giant island of crap in the middle of the pacific was described in the link the other day as 'the size of Texas, or the size of spain and france put together'. I've been to Spain, and France. I've flown over the length of both them. For me, they're pretty decent sized countries - France is twice as big as mine, for example.

Yet Texas is as big as both of them. And that's one state. And it's not even the biggest. The USA spans an entire continent. It'd be like if the EU plus the eastern european states plus Russia all fell under one national government. All spoke the same language, used the same currency, had the same cultural heritage. I can't even imagine that. It's mindboggling big. I can travel for a thousand miles, and visit a dozen or more countries, all with their own languages. In some parts of the US, that barely gets you out of your state!

Different ways of looking at the world we live in, for sure.
posted by ArkhanJG at 7:15 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Holy ship!!

eh? eh?

aw, come on... you guys are always hoggin' the good posts.

/stuffs hands in pockets and kicks dirt
posted by MeatLightning at 7:20 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Two words: Philadelphia Experiment

Wake up, sheeple!
posted by qvantamon at 7:23 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


CynicalKnight: "There's no way jet fuel burns hot enough to travel that far back in time."

Thats what Mr Fusion is for, just don't puncture the fuel line
posted by MrLint at 7:44 PM on July 15, 2010


Yah, every time the Brits make their little jokes about how young everything is over here I want to start talking about the Olmecs or the Clovis people.

There were others here before all the white people showed up.
posted by Bonzai at 8:32 PM on July 15, 2010


Well Captain Picard was here in Washington 10,000 years ago.
posted by Tenuki at 9:11 PM on July 15, 2010


It's always in the last place you look.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:40 PM on July 15, 2010


18th century is surely too late for it to be Dutch, isn't it?

Kid, the Dutch were running New York well into the 1930s.
posted by dhartung at 9:56 PM on July 15, 2010


Canada is big. A lot of the Canadian provinces are big. It takes a day to drive across BC. In a lot of the US, that'd have you cross several states; in Europe, potentially several countries.

And the prairies? Big, empty, and flat. In some ways, more impressive than mountains. Endlessly, desperately, awe-inspiring flat.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:19 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Canada is big.

Yeah well the solar system is bigger and I'm a citizen of that so fuck y'all, in first. Actually the universe is huge and I call shotgun on it at the largest point EVER in it's expansion and contraction so you got nuthin
posted by seagull.apollo at 10:33 PM on July 15, 2010


This is so cool! Everyone should bury more ships in the ground so we can find them again in another 300 years =)
posted by Enki at 10:34 PM on July 15, 2010


Wow, a link about an 18th Century ship discovered sitting beneath Ground Zero in Manhattan becomes a thread about nationalist pride.

This is why we have the World Cup, people! We've already established that Spain is the best country! (At least for the next year.)


Though I am toasting Argentina's health, tonight.
posted by darkstar at 10:40 PM on July 15, 2010


Under the ship, a sunken Statue of Liberty and a buff Charlton Heston shouting "you blew it up!"
posted by zippy at 11:02 PM on July 15, 2010


The Whelk: "And when they finally pull it out a Balrog will be loosed upon Manhattan.

Eh, lots of lawyer bars there, we'll just get em' drunk.
"

Now that's an interesting thought: a blasted Balrog, too wasted to get up from the bar stool.
posted by bwg at 3:31 AM on July 16, 2010


This is so cool! Everyone should bury more ships in the ground so we can find them again in another 300 years =)

Yeah, when I read that the thing was 32 feet long, it struck me that this is almost exactly the size of a boat I was whale-watching on just off the Newfoundland coast earlier this week. I wonder if this unprepossessing little boat will turn up in some landfill beneath the site of a major disaster in 2415.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:09 AM on July 16, 2010


Reminds me of Eddie Izzard: "I'm from Europe... Where the history comes from."
posted by grubi at 4:38 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now that's an interesting thought: a blasted Balrog, too wasted to get up from the bar stool

Excerpt from the following day's New York Times:
"Mr. Balrog, (age 325,680) in a state of. extreme inebriation, apparently became infuriated when the manager, a Mr. Gandalf, (age 426,) refused to serve him additional intoxicants. Witnesses report seeing Mr. Gandalf howling "YOU SHALL NOT FILL HIS GLASS!" to his staff, while swinging a broom menacingly.

Mr. Balrog then roared and in what appears to be an accident, set the pub ablaze.

Reportedly, the managerer's last words to his customers and staff before the establishment was completely incinerated were: "Fly, you fools!"

As of 3:30am, the FDNY was still battling the 18-alarm fire, which has now engulfed the "Hell's Kitchen" area. There has been extensive property damage throughout that section of the city, numerous lives lost.

Mr. Balrog is currently in critical condition after he was pulled from the rubble early this morning. Mr. Gandalf is still missing."
posted by zarq at 5:13 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


And the prairies? Big, empty, and flat. In some ways, more impressive than mountains. Endlessly, desperately, awe-inspiring flat.

"You can tell me that your dog ran away, then tell me that it took 3 days."
posted by kmz at 5:47 AM on July 16, 2010


We grow up surrounded by things and places that are, simply, very old on a human scale.

We do have 12,000 years of culture here in the United States, it's just that 11,500 years of it is horribly neglected, unappreciated, and hopelessly mired in oppressive colonial politics.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:35 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sigh. I read zarq's comment and immediately tried to figure out the actual ages of Gandalf and the Balrog during the fight in Moria (year 3019 of the Third Age).

Both are Maiar, and as such have existed since the beginning of time, but the Balrogs assumed corporeal form at the beginning of the First Age, which would put its age at a bit over 7000 solar years plus 5000 Valian years (each lasting between 9.6 or 144 years -- Tolkien is inconsistent) before the appearance of the sun, so the Balrog would be somewhere between 12 and 727 thousand years old. Olórin did not take his form until T.A. ~1050-1100, when the wizards appeared, so Gandalf would have been just shy of 2000 years old.

</derail>

posted by nicepersonality at 7:11 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just goes to show there's a little bit of ship in everything.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:15 AM on July 16, 2010


Nicepersonality: I have never heard it said that a Balrog was Maiar. I thought it was a creature of Melchor .

As for a drunk Balrog: The results would not be nice. Most likely you'd have almost anyone around commiting suicide. Shit, why did I have to think of such a thing?

Oh, wait. You said these were lawyer bars? Oh, that's better! Maybe the sun will shine again, afterall!
posted by Goofyy at 8:34 AM on July 16, 2010


...so the Balrog would be somewhere between 12 and 727 thousand years old.

Trust a reporter from the venerable New York Times to make sure that even the smallest detail in every article is accurate.

Olórin did not take his form until T.A. ~1050-1100, when the wizards appeared, so Gandalf would have been just shy of 2000 years old.

Friggin' reporters. You can't ever trust 'em to get anything right.


:D
posted by zarq at 8:39 AM on July 16, 2010


This seems to happen a lot in landfill. I recall a ship being found while excavating for the Big Dig in Boston, but for the life of me I can't find a link.
posted by zvs at 9:53 AM on July 16, 2010


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