6 Places Around The World Where All Your Old Crap Ends Up
There are systems in place so we can say goodbye to things that have reached the end of their usefulness. If our clothes or furniture no longer match our cool new style, we can dump them off at Goodwill or the Salvation Army. The same goes with old people: We drop them off at the retirement home / graveyard, promise to visit, and then we go about our lives.
But some things in our past don't have easy dumping grounds like jeans or the elderly, often leaving us to invent new ways of keeping them around. We can't burn them, after all; they have that toasty blanket feel of nostalgia to them. Here are some weirdest places these icons of the past have ended up.
There's A Single Spot In The Ocean Where Every Spacecraft Goes To Die
A major focus of the first wave of space travel was getting our rockets into space. Getting them back to Earth in one piece? Not a big concern. Lighter as a one-use craft, spaceships were never meant to go back up, after all. So where did these retired spaceships go? Some sort of spaceship nursing home? A NASA farm upstate where they get to play with all the other Apollos? No, the ocean (more specifically, one region of the Pacific) is where space programs worldwide have been plunking down most of their spacecraft once they return home.
This is also the exact part of the ocean the kaiju come from.
Some ways southeast of New Zealand lies literally the most remote stretch of ocean in the world, thousands of miles from any land and almost free of shipping traffic. Unofficially known as the Spacecraft Cemetery, there are over 160 missions' worth of junked space vessels from countries all over the world below its surface. But before you shed a single tear for the poor fate of these dream machines, remember that rocket scientists know what they are doing. The Mir station was so big that even after reentry stripped it down, at least 20 tons of debris still made its way to the floor of the Pacific. Like we said, mighty ships go down hard, but they look good doing it.
Fear not, even the oldest residents of the Spacecraft Cemetery aren't completely lost. A three-week mission funded by Amazon.com (should've sprung for that one-day delivery) uncovered the rusted remains of several Saturn V rocket engines, the same used for the moon mission in 1969. Unfortunately, the serial numbers have been mostly rusted off, so we'll never know for sure which Apollos they pushed beyond man's reach, but maybe some of them made it all the way to that majestic sound stage in Burbank.
"Look, Kubrick signed this one!"
The real question is: Should we go down there at all? Even as we've come so far with deep-sea diving and retrieval, most crews can't even get a lot of good photographs down there. Sometimes people get lucky and hoist up a partially preserved craft, like Gus Grissom's Mercury capsule from 1961, but even that took 30 years, only for it to look like a furnace filled with the voided bowels and stomach of a hungover frat house.
It then traveled the country, as part of Tetanus Tour '06.
Other Countries Are Filled With Losing Sports Team Shirts
When your sports team becomes the champion in whatever it is they do, you want to remember your vicarious victory forever. And what better way to keep it close to your heart than a commemorative shirt? But as you may be aware, sometimes during a sports match, another team has to lose. That team had plenty of shirts too; they just turned out to be loser shirts no one wants to wear. So when the Raleigh-Durham Fistulas win the sports cup, what happens to all the Boise Rice Weevils apparel?
Hint: 90 percent of apparel comes from poor third-world countries, so ...
When the Seahawks were taking on the Patriots in the big game, behind the scenes, Seattle and Boston retailers were ready to battle it out to get merchandise available in their respective cities. Stores in both regions had shirts made up declaring their respective teams the new champions. Of course, only the Patriots would win. So the "Back2Back" Seahawks gear got sent to a warehouse, where it would be processed and then sent off to countries that need clothing and don't mind that it has a big lying bird on the front.
The same thing happened in 2016, when the Cleveland Indians were so sure that the Chicago Cubs weren't going to end their "curse" of being a "perpetually shitty team" in the World Series that they had their own victory shirts made up before the Series even began. And yep, those were hauled off to developing countries as well.
Either that or this is photographic evidence of the Mandela Effect.
World Vision is the company tasked with doling out all these "unusable" clothing artifacts. And we suppose it's a noble task, better than simply destroying all the apparel, which we did up until the '90s. However, restraints are put into place, as our efforts to get rid of all this crap have proven to devastate local clothing industries in the very countries we're trying to help. We're also morally obliged to limit the amount of people in third-world countries who think Peyton Manning is worth a shit.
The less English you know, the better these shirts feel.
Alaska Is Still Lousy With Blockbusters (Owned By One Guy)
Before the age of streaming, people used to have to go outside to argue about which movie to pick. Blockbuster Video stores ruled the landscape during the late '80s and '90s, its shelves stuffed with Hellraiser sequels and Bill Paxton vehicles. Then Netflix and Redbox began letting you watch everything in your very own home, getting rid of all necessity for human interaction whatsoever, to the delight of film nerds everywhere.
This is the part where we remind you that Blockbuster declined to buy Netflix for only $50 million in 2000. Oops.
This was the death rattle for the 9,000 brick and mortar stores that made up the Blockbuster empire. Once internet speeds went past the crying modem shrieks of dying robots and we could watch movies without even needing a physical copy, people understandably no longer had the patience to wait in line, only to be told that the one copy of Major Payne still hadn't been returned.
But one region in America is still clinging to those nostalgic times: Alaska. Yes, the one place where going outside has a good chance of freezing you to death has not given up on the magic of physical movie rental. Capitalizing on a winning combination of super low prices, dubious internet speeds, and no cultural scene, the state that warmth and direct sunlight forgot now houses one of the last remaining Blockbuster bastions in the nation.
Technologically speaking, Alaska is still Soviet territory.
Spread among only a dozen or so stores, they still have a customer base tens of thousands strong. Although you're never sure who "they" are, as these Blockbusters have been dubbed "zombie stores," because pretty much anyone now can use the Blockbuster name and keep the store open. A similar resurrection has taken place in Texas, where an Austin-based entertainment company is now inhabiting the carcasses of 26 stores. But how are they making any money? Low prices, a large collection of old movies, and the fact that using the internet is something "a lot of people don't know how to do." Basically, they're going to keep going until they run out of Baby Boomers.
They also print out emails for you so you can read them.
Arcade Games Are Becoming Buried Treasure
If you remember the heyday of arcade joints in your local mall, you're likely hurtling comet-like toward middle age. Yet the memories are oh so sweet. The epilepsy-inducing flashes, the sounds of quarters jingling in pockets of boys who hadn't yet realized what girls were, the ubiquitous digitized shouts of "Hadouken!" and "He's on fire!" emanating from these monoliths glowing with pure potential ...
But when the consoles came crashing down, these dinosaurs never stood a chance -- especially since the malls they call home are failing at a similarly rapid rate. Even more tragic, no one has bothered to preserve these things, with so few of these great beasts given the burial they deserve. Often, we're finding that people just kinda shut the doors and left them there. Like on a cruise ship, of all places.
Abandoned retiree corpses are in the next cabin.
The Duke Of Lancaster was left stranded on a beach for over 30 years, like a bloated whale carcass. When explorers ventured in, what they found looked much like the dark corner of a dive bar circa 1989, replete with old arcade games. Once the treasure trove was discovered, all the machines were gently escorted off the defunct vessel, much like victims of human trafficking:
All then received STD/termite tests.
Similarly, in 2014, a woman in Japan purchased a building for her personal and/or business use. When she entered to survey her investment, it was like opening a time capsule that had been shut for decades. The first two floors of the place had functioned as an arcade in the 1990s, and some of the old machines were still in perfectly operational condition.
And no DLC updates needed!
And it's not only in Japan. There are scores of shut-up buildings in Connecticut, Nevada, London, Italy, and anywhere else arcades used to roam. It seems common practice for failing arcade owners to say "Fuck it" and leave with the haste normally reserved for burning meth labs.
"Spare some change?"
But at least these games got to stay in the houses they leveled up in. Cleveland has a unique problem whereby an absolutely staggering number of old arcade machines are being dumped behind abandoned gas stations like they were victims of a mob hit.
"They're sleeping with the Froggers."
There's A Nickelodeon Time Capsule That Contains Everything Wrong About The '90s
Time capsules are meant to serve as an insight into the everyday lives of people of the past, but mostly they're used to show the future how totally rad we used to be. Nickelodeon, home of the green slime, decided to preserve the essence of '90s children with its own time capsule -- proving once and for all that some childhoods do not age well.
Only '90s kids remember this, and they wish they didn't.
In 1992, the network gathered all its heavy hitters in their best flannel and told them to load up a capsule with explicit instructions not to uncork it for 50 years. Some items put inside the capsule were legitimately cool artifacts to show the walking emojis of 2042: a piece of the Berlin Wall, an MC Hammer CD, freaking Reebok Pumps! Granted, the odds of a single Walkman surviving all the way up to 2042 is nil, and so are the chances that people will still be using their feet to walk, but that piece of generic-looking concrete will be well worth the wait.
They also added a phone book, to level it.
With that (and a pretty cool Game Boy) ends the history lesson. That's because all the other junk Nickelodeon put in the capsule stopped being relevant about 30 seconds after they buried the damn thing. They even got Joey Lawrence to do the honors, and if you remember his trademark "Whoa!" then don't forget to get your cholesterol tested this year.
Younger readers may remember him as a runner-up from Cupcake Wars.
Lawrence was so determined to render a future opener of time capsules completely mystified that he chucked in one of his signature whoa-hats (complete with dates of relevance):
"Over here, we assume, was Bill Clinton's campaign slogan." -- a future historian
Some other notable items ensconced in the tomb of children's broken dreams: a Gak toy (which was essentially colored, thickened cum), roller blades, a Home Alone VHS (to further perplex future generations with dead formats), and a bunch of photos of things too big to put inside, which can be narrowed down to about everything larger than a hobo barrel.
And, of course, Cheez Whiz.
The Nickelodeon resort near Disney World where the capsule was buried received some timely news of its own in 2016: It was being rebranded as a Holiday Inn in the span of a month. Frantic Rocko's Modern Life fans were rightly concerned about the future of their time capsule. Worry not, because it's getting moved to the Nickelodeon offices under construction out in California. Perhaps Joey Lawrence himself will place the capsule back in the earth, and pour the concrete, and whatever else his foreman wants him to do.
The Original DeLorean Factory Molds Were Used As Fishing Anchors
The DeLorean DMC-12 from the Back To The Future series is probably the most iconic pop culture car in history, right in front of Mr. Bean's polite little English jalopy and Fred Flintstone's footmobile. Marty McFly's sweet ride is also the only car you know would kill you if anything beyond a fender bender happened while you were behind the wheel. Fortunately, these cars are no longer used for driving, but for housing.
And we're not talking about hobos. Or not just hobos, at least.
The history of the doomed DeLorean Motor Company has been well-documented, what with its owner's Scarface-like involvement with cocaine and, more importantly, the fact that the signature car was shit. Soon after John DeLorean's fall from grace, the company folded in 1982. The factories in Ireland were shuttered, the employees displaced and the flux capacitors smashed in frustration. But there were still car parts and factory machinery that had to be disposed of. The logical choice would have been to dump them in the sea -- which they did. A fishing vessel was sent to the manufacturing plant on the coast of Ireland to jettison the tooling presses, finished car panels, and molds into Kilkieran Bay. There, they were going to be used as anchors to keep fish cages at the surface, but nature had other plans.
The fish farm did not stay active for long, leaving the Delorean parts and machinery to rust at the bottom of the bay. In 2009, when the parts were rediscovered, a photographer headed down to those seabeds and found that the Delorean legacy was not only still alive deep in those cold waters, but it was even helping foster a healthy habitat for plants and animals.
This place is now more alive than the Great Barrier Reef.
The photographer, Sean Lynch, is still tracking the progress of the infamous car graveyard, by now popular sea life resort. His obsession has gone even so far as to lead him to create handmade replicas of the sunken pieces. When he finishes his duplicate DeLorean, though, he's gonna freak when he sees a confused, elderly Biff Tannen trying to drive it.
What happens when Doc parks in the wrong neighborhood.
Justin writes more on his site here. Add him on Twitter if you're looking for a real man.
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