Source: Wikipedia: Heracleion, Yahoo News: Eric Pfeiffer (Sideshow)
Until a decade ago, no one knew if Heracleion, believed to be an ancient harbor city, was fiction or real. Now, reports the Telegraph, the researchers who found it—150 feet beneath the surface of Egypt's Bay of Aboukir are sharing some of the amazing historical artifacts preserved there. The finds include 64 ships, 16-foot-tall statues, 700 anchors and countless gold coins and smaller artifacts.
Heracleion was an ancient Egyptian city near Alexandria. It was known as early as the 12th century BC but its importance grew during the waning days of the pharaohs, the late period. Herakleion was Egypt's main port in the time of the pharaohs. It was famous because it was believed that Helen of Troy and Hercules have visited the city, and the city even gained its name from Hercules.
Source: Wikipedia: Heracleion, Yahoo News: Eric Pfeiffer (Sideshow)
Weeki Wachee Springs is a natural tourist attraction located in Weeki Wachee, Florida, where underwater performances by "mermaids", women dressed with fins about their legs as well as other fancy outfits, can be viewed in an aquarium-like setting in the spring of the Weeki Wachee River. A waterpark, Buccaneer Bay, and boat rides are also part of the attraction.
Source: Wikipedia: Weeki Wachee Springs, Facebook: AlvinInNaples
A Spanish olive jar being recovered using the limpet suction device from the Tortugas shipwreck, in the Straits of Florida, is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of Odyssey Marine Exploration. The site, called the "Tortugas" excavation was first discovered back in 1965. Its 400-year-old treasure found off the Florida coast in the Gulf of Mexico has now been recovered.
The galleon Buen Jesus y Nuestra Senora del Rosario, of the Tierra Firme treasure fleet, was sailing back to Spain after collecting colonial treasures back in 1622. It was struck down by a fierce hurricane off the southwest tip of Florida, about 400 miles from the Florida Keys.
Source: Yahoo: Weather
In third century Rome, a Christian martyr named Saint Sebastian was shot repeatedly with arrows then beaten to death. Today, the East Coast's most famous surf break continues the tradition. OK, so the two entities are entirely unrelated, but for roughly 40 years, Sebastian Inlet reigned as the site of more shoots - photo shoots, that is - and pummelings than any spot along the Atlantic Seaboard.
It also served as one of the surfing world's favorite whipping posts, while offering hope to legions of faithful, flat-spell-stricken Floridians and glory to riders seeking immortality. Located approximately 15 miles south of Melbourne Beach, Florida, Sebastian Inlet's story is one of struggle and survival. Fishermen first cut the 500-foot channel using shovels and wheelbarrows in 1886.
As if that challenging enough, preserving the Inlet required constant maintenance until the first set of jetties was installed in 1924. While early Cocoa Beach surfers like Dick Catri and Mike Tabeling were familiar with the Inlet's mediocre sandbars as early as 1960, the trophy wave that would not come to life until they finished extending the north jetty in 1969.
Sebastian Inlet is really several distinct waves -- or peaks -- and most are named for their proximity to the jetty. The most northern break is called "OK Signs" for the large plywood placards that notify surfers and swimmers when they're crossing borders. Moving south toward the rubble there's Fourth Peak, Third Peak, Second Peak and the headliner, First Peak.
While the rest of Sebastian's sandbars shift in terms of location and quality, First Peak refracts off the jetty and wedges north with more oomph than most Florida waves. When everywhere else is ankle-high, First Peak can be a foot of longboardable fun. At head-high or more, the wave is a top-to-bottom racer that jacks up, over and out, unleashing perfect shacks at the takeoff and finishing with a crossed-up launching pad off Second Peak -- a true, high-performance wave.
Catri and company surfed the Inlet by themselves for several years, but by 1969, the word was out: Central Florida had a break worth fighting for. And fight they did. First, it was a tumultuous period of clashing with fishermen that resulted in flying lead sinkers, a few bruised anglers and a blackball ordinance. Then it was struggling with the officials enforcing surfing restrictions.
By the time the laws were repealed in the early '70s (it became a Florida State Park soon after), surfers had moved on to fighting each other, forging a history of localism around First Peak that has existed in varying strengths ever since. In fact, during the '70s and '80s, Sebastian's reputation was so notoriously violent that outsiders automatically walked down the beach toward the lesser waves at Second and Third Peak.
Today the lineup is regimented more through respect, time spent and sheer talent, and most violent outbursts are random incidents fueled by claustrophobic crowds rather than the overt attempts to keep Sebastian private. Such dreams of sublime isolation were squashed long ago in an avalanche of media attention.
As up-and-coming locals like Jeff Crawford and Greg Loehr gained international acclaim in the early '70s, surfing Sebastian became the path to greater fame for East Coasters, creating a self-feeding media machine: surfers draw photographers who draw surfers who draw photographers, and so on.
This combination of hungry crowds and cameras quickly forced surfers to prove their abilities -- not in terms of bravery or endurance like the North Shore, but through pure skill and innovation -- creating a tradition of one-upmanship that transformed the Inlet into a speeding freight train of progression, as proven in 1979 when it made history as the birthplace of the aerial.
While a number of surfers, including Jon Holeman and Jeff Klugel, were joining the race for space, Matt Kechele would ultimately receive credit - and initially, ridicule -- for the innovation, forcing one purist to spray-paint a message on the bathhouse: "Silly Kech, Tricks Are For Kids".
Kechele was only the first in a series of modern heroes to spring from Sebastian. Today, the list includes Charlie Kuhn, Todd Morcom, the Lopez and Hobgood brothers and, of course, six-time world champion Kelly Slater. Meanwhile, the Inlet has also become the primary proving ground for East Coast photographers, helping make a name for prominent lensmen like Dick Meseroll, Tom Dugan and Kevin Welsh, who have pulled the occasional cover shot or poster from the aqua-blue waters and close range that make it a veritable photo studio.
At least all this used to be the case: then a post-millennium jetty makeover altered the wavescape forever, making First Peak a mere shadow of its former self. Occasionally, there are glimpses of power, but none of the glory holes that originally made competitors, photo sluts and shooters so damn horny. As a result, the talent pool's waned, though the crowds and reputation still remain.
So do the contests. The site of several international pro events in the early '80s and three U.S. championships between 1986 and 1994 Sebastian continues as the annual site of the NSSA's Eastern Championships. A popular WQS event from the mid 2000s now runs as Sebastian Inlet Pro Junior. And Quiksilver's King of the Peak, a long-standing specialty skins event, religiously draws pros for a chance at some decent cash and serious bragging rights.
But Sebastian Inlet is more than a collection of comps, stars and pictures. It's literally the capital of East Coast surfing, laying claim to the greatest influence and attention, as well as the most problems with traffic, politics and potential for turmoil. Fort that reason alone, surfers will continue to make a pilgrimage to this less than holy land: just to say they charged one of the world's fiercest proving grounds -- and survived.
Source: Surfline: Matt Walker
It sounds like something out of an Indiana Jones movie: the quest for a crystal that once helped sailors navigate the seas. But now researchers say the mythical Viking “sunstone” may actually have existed. According to the Independent, their clue was a crystal found on an English shipwreck off the Channel Islands.
The ship sank in 1592. Scientists say they believe the substance made of calcite and known as Iceland xpar, was used as a navigational tool alongside the compass. This tracks with ancient Norse mentions of such a tool, which probably existed as well.
Guy Ropars, reported the Independent, said in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society that the oblong-shaped crystal that they found “could really have been used as an accurate optical sun compass as an aid to ancient navigation." He added, “It permits the observer to follow the azimuth of the sun, far below the horizon with an accuracy as great as plus or minus one degree.” Translation: The crystal could have served as a guide even on cloudy days or short Nordic nights.
There have been references to the magic crystal in Norse literature, such as the Sagas of Icelanders, but no evidence had been found at Viking burial sites—most likely due to the practice of cremating the warriors, which would have destroyed the crystals.
Source: Yahoo News: Claudine Zap
Piracy is typically an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, online, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator (e.g. one passenger stealing from others on the same vessel).
The term has been used throughout history to refer to raids across land borders by non-state agents.
Piracy is the name of a specific crime under customary international law and also the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of States. It is distinguished from privateering, which is authorized by national authorities and therefore a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors. Privateering is considered commerce raiding, and was outlawed by the Peace of Westphalia (1648) for signatories to those treaties.
Those who engage in acts of piracy are called pirates (Freebooter.) Historically, offenders have usually been apprehended by military personnel and tried by military tribunals. In the 21st century, the international community is facing many problems in bringing pirates to justice.
Source: Wikipedia: Piracy, Facebook: TheBeachBumPirate
Megalodon (meaning "big tooth", from Greek (megas, "big") and (odon, from odous, "tooth")) is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 28 to 1.5 million years ago, during the Cenozoic Era (late Oligocene to early Pleistocene). The taxonomic assignment of C. megalodon has been debated for nearly a century, and is still under dispute.
The two major interpretations are Carcharodon megalodon (under family Lamnidae) or Carcharocles megalodon (under family Otodontidae). Consequently, the scientific name of this species is commonly abbreviated C. megalodon in the literature.
C. megalodon is regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history, and likely had a profound impact on the structure of marine communities.
Fossil remains suggest that this giant shark reached a maximum length of 15.9–20.3 metres (52–67 ft), and also affirm that it had a cosmopolitan distribution. Scientists suggest that C. megalodon looked like a stockier version of the great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias.
Source: Wikipedia: Megalodon, Ebay: Megalodon Shark Tooth
Fanta is a global brand of fruit-flavored carbonated soft drinks from the Coca-Cola Company. There are over 100 flavors worldwide. The drink originated in Germany in 1941. Fanta originated as a result of difficulties importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during World War II due to a trade embargo.
To circumvent this, Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland (Coca-Cola GmbH) during the Second World War, decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including whey and pomace – the "leftovers of leftovers", as Keith later recalled.
The name was the result of a brief brainstorming session, which started with Keith exhorting his team to "use their imagination" ("Fantasie" in German), to which one of his salesmen, Joe Knipp, immediately retorted "Fanta!"
While the plant was effectively cut off from Coca Cola headquarters during the war, plant management did not join the Nazi Party. After the war, the Coca Cola corporation regained control of the plant, formula and the trademarks to the new Fanta product — as well as the plant profits made during the war.
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