Late last week the USS Iowa (BB-61), the lead ship in the final class of US battleships ever built, began a voyage from Suisun Bay, California that will ultimately end in Los Angeles - where she will serve as a floating museum.
Laid down in June 1940 and commissioned in February 1943 the Iowa weighed in at 45,000 tons, was 887 feet long and included a crew of over 2,750 officers and men. Her potent main armament of nine 16 inch (406mm) guns could rain one ton shells down onto targets over 20 miles away.
Well over 6,000 ships sunk during the Second World War sit on the bottom of oceans and seas worldwide. After roughly 70 years of exposure to the elements many are raising concerns that these distingrating wrecks could release the oil mostly still contained in their hulls. Though few of these ships contain anywhere near the oil released by the oil tanker seen sinking in this picture following a U-boat attack, when the oil from these thousands of ships is aggregated together it is estimated by some to total well in excess of the oil released by 2010's Deepwater Horizon spill.