How Can Ghost Ships Still Sail Our Seas?

This story is loads of spooky fun. The UK Telegraph reports “Ghost ship carrying cannibal rats could be headed for Britain.” The 300 foot Russian luxury curise liner Lyubov Orlova has been drifting in the North Atlantic for over a year and the ocean currents might be pushing her to Britain’s shore.


The ship was impounded for unpaid debts and her tow line broke in stormy seas when she was being towed to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped. She’s been drifting ever since, populated by rats who are now turning into cannibals in order to survive. Unless, of course, the rats have learned how to fish, and then we’ve got a whole new invasion problem when the luxury cruise liner smashes into the coast of Britain.

But how could a 300 foot cruise liner be lost? Wouldn’t she be spotted at sea by planes or other ocean vessels? That’s the spooky part, not the ghost ship or the rats. In a world that seems to be smaller every day, with cell phones everywhere and cameras in every city, with the NSA tracking our e-mails and the IRS targeting individual citizens because of their political views, losing a 300 foot cruise ship seems impossible.

Turns out our planet is not that small, and our oceans are immense. The Lyubox Orlova is not the only ghost ship that sails our seas. There are many mysterious stories of drifting ships with no one on board, from today’s ghostly cruise liner all the way back to the discovery of the Mary Celeste in 1872. The Mary Celeste was a sailing ship found in the Atlantic, completely unharmed, stocked with food and water, with the table laid for supper, and not a soul left on board. Not a single member of the crew was ever found.



Bram Stoker took the stories of abandoned ships drifting at sea and wove them into his classic novel Dracula, first published in 1897. Yet another reason to wonder what exactly is on board the Lyubox Orlova as she drifts silently towards Great Britain…

I find it comforting to think that our world is still in many ways a wild and dangerous place. Our seas hold mysteries that we cannot solve. Our technology is no match for the vast stretches of our oceans. Let’s hear it for the Lyubox Orlova, who broke her towline on the way to the junk yard and now sails the ocean with her crew of rats, unchained, her location unknown. I hope she is never found.


photos: Getty images


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