Image of the Day: A Huge Ship Sawed Into Pieces

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ShipSawedinHalf.jpg

This image bubbled up through the social networking site, Reddit. Its provenance is a little hazy, but Reddit's users collectively put the pieces of the story together

Apparently, the MV Tricolor, a Norwegian ship carrying 3,000 automobiles, sunk in the English Channel during 2002. The ship was so heavy that the salvage team had to cut it into nine pieces with a diamond-encrusted wire in order to lift it. The operation garnered its own website, which remains online, TricolorSalvage.com. Although the image above was pulled from the WayBack Machine, a service of Archive.org that stores old versions of the Internet, the official website has plenty of other mind-bending photos, like the one below. 

We tend to think of cutaway peeks into industrial infrastructure as clean and neat like this Disney cruiseliner. So, what I love about both these images is that they meet our expectations of an infographic, visually exposing something previously hidden, but with the messiness of reality still intact. 

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Oh, and if you want to learn more about how you pull huge chunks of metal out of the sea, check out this graphic-heavy factsheet, from which this final graphic is drawn.

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Via @Albon

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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