The Arthur Kill ship graveyard of New York City’s Staten Island is where dozens of ships, boats, and watercraft go to whither, rot, and die. It’s one of those few forgotten, barren locations amongst the bustle of the city, and it’s nearly completely inaccessible. But this video, composed of gorgeous high-definition drone footage, puts it all in perspective.

How a massive ship graveyard formed among the shallow waterways of New York City is a story in its own right, as Wired noted in a post concerning a documentary about it last year:

The Arthur Kill ship graveyard was never meant to become such a decrepit spectacle. In the years following World War II, the adjacent scrapyard began to purchase scores of outdated vessels, with the intention of harvesting them for anything of value. But the shipbreakers couldn’t keep pace with the influx of boats, especially once people started to use the graveyard as a dumping ground for their old dinghies. Plenty of ships fell into such disrepair that they were no longer worth the effort to strip, especially since many teem with toxic substances. And so they’ve been left to rot in the murky tidal strait that divides Staten Island from New Jersey, where they’ve turned scarlet with rust and now host entire ecosystems of hardy aquatic creatures.

It’s one of those last relics of the city’s gritty past, shorn of glitz and gleaming glass, and in its decay it’s downright beautiful.


Contact the author at ballaban@jalopnik.com.
Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: 0D03 F37B 4C96 021E 4292 7B12 E080 0D0B 5968 F14E