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.