December 28, 2012

One of the top Science News stories of 2012 was the superstorm Hurricane Sandy. The New York and New Jersey areas are still trying to recover from the afteraffects of this storm surge, which destroyed homes, shut down the power grids, and will affect oceanside communities for years to come.

We chose this photograph our #4 Seymour Science Story of 2012 for its powerful illustration of the awesome power of this unprecedented storm.

I can hardly bring myself to call this the "Cool Photo of the Week." It is more like the ASTOUNDING photo of the week!

This shipwreck was long buried under the sand dunes on Fire Island - a barrier island off Long Island, New York. The force of Hurricane Sandy completely reconfigured the beaches of Fire Island, and exposed the bones of this wrecked schooner.

Park rangers think that it is the wreck of the Bessie White, which ran aground off Fire Island in either 1919 or 1922 - almost 100 years ago! The Bessie White was a four-mast Canadian schooner which went aground in heavy fog. The crew and the ship’s cat escaped in lifeboats, but they couldn’t save the ship or the tons of coal that it was carrying.

Seeing the sand rearranged to the point that this buried shipwreck is revealed really gives you an idea of how strong the winds and surf are during a hurricane. 

Caroline, from Indiana, captured the reaction of many of our readers when she wrote: "That is so cool, and who would think that a 100 year old thing would still be there?!"


Photo: Cheryl Hapke, USGS  

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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