Those aren't just any old boats, either. They're cargo ships, each weighing hundreds of thousands of tons, and this section of coast just happens to be the rubbish bin where we throw away our mega vessels. It all started back in 1965, when a storm stranded a freighter on a beach in Chittagong in Bangladesh. Instead of trying to get the ship back into the water or raising a fuss until somebody hauled the eyesore away, the locals began hacking away at it, looting it for scrap metal. The rest of the world stood up and took notice: Those suckers want our gargantuan uber-garbage? OK then:
To be fair, it needs to be done. All ships get scrapped eventually. It's just that if you want to take care of it in places like Europe or America, you've got to follow these pansy "environmental regulations," put the ships in dry dock, and then pay a small fortune for their dismantling. Whereas in Bangladesh, you can essentially just kill a bottle of Shipcrasher's rum, full-steam your boat into the shoreline, and drunkenly stumble away, all for the cost of a few well-placed bribes. Hell, they'll even pay you for the privilege of dismantling it.
And for the barnacles. Men earning $3 a day find them delicious.
See that white speck, bottom center? That's a person. That's the staggering scale of these behemoths, and hundreds of them wash up every single year on this beach, where scavengers swarm them like ants taking down an elephant:
These guys chill on the beach every day with boats. We kind of envy them.
But don't go thinking it's an ideal solution or anything: Dozens of workers die every year in the shipyards. Some are crushed to death, some inhale toxic fumes, and sometimes blowtorches will set fuel alight, causing a whole ship to explode. Hey, Treat Williams seemed to make it out unscathed in Deep Rising; we're sure the Bangladeshis have plenty of emergency jet skis on hand.
Yosomono writes for Gaijinass.com, who also have a Facebook page that you should LIKE. Ryan Menezes is a writer and layout editor here at Cracked. Follow him on Twitter. Richie Ryan occasionally works the wood. See his things. You can also follow him on Twitter if that's your thing.
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