300-Year-Old Ship Surfaces in Old Town Alexandria

While digging up the site of a new hotel, workers in Alexandria, Virginia unearthed a piece of maritime history: the bow of a ship dating back to the mid-to-late 18th century.

According to the Washington Post, the ship was found during the construction of a hotel near the Potomac River waterfront. (This area also recently yielded the foundations of a warehouse built in 1755, as well as several old privies filled with pottery, glass, bones, and shoes.) It’s nearly 50 feet long and still contains part of the ship's original hull’s keel, frame, stern, and flooring.

Archaeologists think the vessel once carried heavy cargo or served as a military ship. Colonists might have buried it to fill in a cove and sand flats at Port Lumley, an area where the Potomac’s waters extend towards the shore. It was scuttled sometime between 1775 and 1798, the paper notes.

The ship was a surprise to archaeologists because there are no known historical records of its existence. It’s also remarkably well preserved, thanks to the fact that it wasn’t touched by oxygen after it was buried.

“It’s very rare. This almost never happens,” Dan Baicy, an archaeologist overseeing the construction site, told the Post. “In 15 years that I’ve done this work, I’ve never run into this kind of preservation in an urban environment where there’s so much disturbance.”

Naval archaeologists have also examined the ship and currently are in the process of removing it from the site. They’ll store it in tanks or a natural body of water until conservationists at a preservation lab can take a good look at it. Someday, it might go on display—although project officials say that would require special funding. To learn more about the find, watch the video above.

All images courtesy of YouTube 

[h/t Washington Post, GeoBeats News]

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Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

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Design
A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

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