The Radioactive Beach In New York

Tom Scott

682 t. näkymät89

    Check out BrainCraft! - start with the Growth Mindset or lucid dreaming • Deep in Brooklyn there's a beach you definitely wouldn't swim at, unless you're an archaeologist.

    Dead Horse Bay served as an unofficial dump for decades, and now as the sand is washed away the boroughs' history is slowly being revealed, one china plate and glass bottle at a time. It's popular with local archeologists (both ameteur "treasure hunters" and professionals) as they wade through New York City's past.

    But this year, a darker side of the city's history has emerged: traces of radon gas and gamma radiation exceeding ambient levels. As parts of the beach have been closed off, locals are worried: will their artifacts and their history now just wash out to sea? And when trash becomes treasured, do we have a responsibility to preserve it?

    Drone footage courtesy of Justin Brooks. Navy Deck Marker image courtesy of Wauter Has,
    Thank you to Dustin Growick for his help filming this video.
    Images used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Author: Baltimore Heritage Author: A. Davey Author: Sam Beebe

    Julkaistu 2 kuukautta sitten


    1. Tom Scott

      Thanks to all the folks who've made guest videos this January! I'm back next week. At least, I hope I am. I left this comment back in December when this video was uploaded and scheduled. So, uh, I hope I'm back next week.

      1. Noah Ord

        @TakOo u in

      2. Michael Sänger

        sorry for being the person that corrects minor things on the internet ... but I have to point out that 100ft = 30.48 meters :)

      3. elbob086

        If ur asking why 3week ago you bastards were not paying attention b4 Tom went on his break.

      4. Flint 25

        Tom, you should do another video about the FIblock algorithm. The Spiffing Brit is working to break it

      5. DJJOE

        Can you do a video on asbestos in talcum powder, there seems to be a lot of confusion around it.

    2. Adult Human Female

      “A radioactive beach full of trash” “Woah” “In Brooklyn” “Oh okay”

    3. Nature Share

      Cool video, good tour by boat, thanks for sharing

    4. Shaun Henderson

      That video was rubbish

    5. Riley Carpenter


    6. Friskyheart Tryhardus

      It's alright, future civilizations can just dredge up the deep sea for our trash in order to learn more about us

    7. B

      For the algorithm.

    8. Hualani

      Yuck Hunters Point....OK put your wells on and go Dumpster diving, but its NYC! Guarens anything valuable like old CocaCola bottles are already spoken for.

    9. Martin Schwaikert


    10. Sergiu Gavrila

      What would a future archeologist learn from a beach full of trash? Probably that we did not care about their future. We have a responsibility for leaving a clean(er) world to our future generation. If we fail, the supposed lack of artifacts will be the least of our worries.

    11. IRLFine Gaming

      Dang I live right there and somehow never knew this place existed

    12. Debs E.

      Well this solves the problem of what to do with radioactive waste. Leave it a couple of hundred years then let the archaeologist have it.

    13. Dapstart

      I almost certain this would be about Brighton Beach. The sand is filled with bottle caps,needles and used condoms. As a child I remember finding a bra that had washed up on the shore, so i wouldn't discount nuclear waste being among the dunes of trash.

    14. Johnny Carcinogen

      Bold of you to assume that humans will still exist in 200 years' time, let alone civilization.

    15. Luke Madsen

      Ah yes I too enjoy sailing on my boat called "Big Daddy"

    16. Ada Li

      Lifelong Brooklynite here. The locals know this place as Dead Horse Bay. Many are deterred from visiting due to the morbid name, but it is a treasure trove for antique enthusiasts. As the sea eats away the edges of the landfill (which was covered up in the middle of the 20th century), more of its contents are exposed daily. Aside the excess of glass, you can also find broken ceramics and century-old leather.

    17. Nick Doremus

      What a weird pro-littering video.

    18. yes

      0:58 wtf

    19. rsigibson

      A very American perspective on what is "a long time ago" - 1920s? 1918?

    20. chris thorney

      to be honest, its not ancient, in the last 150 years humans have been super destructive, anything we can do to reverse any of that damage should be done, there are plenty of "artefacts" that we create, but we should try to keep our waterways clean, including/especially from classic careless industrial revolution era humans. regardless of radioactivity, its disgusting that we leave places in such a way

    21. David Hedges

      Radium is released by Granite counter tops ... Some areas of the world have radium levels above this beach ...

    22. dsalpha18

      You might find a 3 eyed fish and Godzilla at the beach getting a tan. o.O

    23. ماموث Mammoth

      ارغب في لترجمه العربيه ارجوك

    24. SoadPeet

      I'll be an artifact when i'm old.yeyy....?!

    25. Jilk

      3:43 “wow! This person sure had a lot of credit cards!

    26. Oicub

      Excellent video and a very excellent question. In the future if archaeologists dig to this time period they will find that this century was the most wasteful and careless period of human existence.

    27. D Carbs

      Why would you need an archeologist in New York? It's entire history is practically living memory! Ask someone old enough, and they probably remember drinking from bottles designed (if not made) in the inter-war years, or earlier. Best way to preserve history? Literally set it in stone. Especially if you stretch the definition to include pottery and ceramics. Fabric, organic paint and wood all biodegrade. Metal rusts. Plastic doesn't, but some compounds do disintigrate over time in the sun - within 50 years.

    28. Blake Marshall

      I personally think maybe store the artefacts in a museum or just take the radioactive rubbish off the beach

    29. GrayWolf

      Well that sucks, that was one of the places I wanted to go too

    30. MELON8

      The amount of vocal fry had me stop the video. I'd wish vocal fry would stop being 'popular', or whatever it is.

    31. Salvatore Shiggerino

      Your tax dollars at work, chasing “above ambient” radiation levels.

    32. Psychic Sidekick

      In 10 yrs, FIblock will become a midden.

    33. J eagles

      Reminds me of the contaminated bits of ground near old RAF bases where they would dump broken cockpit instruments which had been painted with radioactive paint to glow in the dark.

    34. TTate

      I was thinking someone took the *manhattan* project a bit too literally

    35. Aanok

      Preserving trash is all fine and dandy, but please don't do it on a beach.

    36. Sitting Still

      Trash helps recreate the environment people lived in and remove the ‘alien’ or ‘other’ dimension that interpreting the events may otherwise suggest. We often don’t realize how detached we are from a period until we observe an artifact or description of an event that doesn’t fit current behavior or the prevalent worldview. This isn’t made any better when people try to sensationalize findings in an attempt to make them novel or scintillating to attract an audience or funding. If we don’t know real history or true behavior of the people we live among, then it’s easy to be duped by those types of charlatans.

    37. Clive Hamilton

      i'm deeply suspicious that radon is the only us navy waste on that beach, no doubt whatever else is down there fully justifies a beach closure

    38. crocman2cool

      My dumb hipster ass in NYC thinking about getting cool old bottles in Brooklyn despite the prospect of radioactivity

    39. Ereder

      Heh... Artefact is not trash +time . It's time+ valuables. Only American could think that a dumpster could be an interesting archeology thing. The rest of the world would say: "all thoses item are already in a museum an stored for the exact reason you mentionned. Why do you need a dumpster beach again?"

    40. J-J-Jingles

      0:54 no, your on a rocket ship

    41. AudieHolland

      If, in America, a sign says: Potential Hazardous Materials *if u can read dis, u dead*

    42. NortonTheProphet

      It would be a pitty to clean this whole beach because of those two radium thingies. Just because radiation is more than ambient doesn't mean it's dangerous. And even if it was, just close the beach to the public, but let archeologists explore it.

    43. George Corbul

      Gotta love how the National Park Service just closes down a beach instead of actually cleaning it up.

    44. Low Flying Potato

      Not preserving the trash piles and cleaning up after ourselves turns it from a responsibility to being responsible humans. There will more than enough trash piles for the future.

    45. DoughyInTheMiddle

      Gets on a windy, open boat, yet in close quarters (during a pandemic), but uses a drone rather than operating it on dry land. ???

    46. Michael Anderson

      Your voice grates so much.

    47. RoScFan

      So what happens if you enter an area closed by the park service? life imprisonment?

    48. Nyx _

      earlier this year

    49. elhomer12

      Kinda similar story to Dalgety Bay in Scotland.... dumped luminous aircraft dials after WW2 made the mussels turn radioactive. Its been cleaned up now but still forbidden to remove any seafood/shellfish from the bay

    50. ceerw buty

      "There's a beach in NY?" "It's r a d i o a c t i v e?"

    51. Gemfyre

      Thing is - even if they remove it from there - it has to go somewhere else, it's not going to disappear so it will still be discoverable, but the location it's found in may be confusing to future archaeologists.

      1. ceerw buty


    52. Killua Zoldyck


    53. Tushar Islam

      The people of the future will know about all the single females in my area

    54. mcspikesky

      So my bottles of saved semen will eventually be worth saving for more than just myself?

      1. Kiehn Stewart


    55. sankimalu

      I hope the future people who find my junk mail will do me a favour and shred it immediately...

    56. pida siouy

      Trash + Time = An Artifact Imagine what future archaeologists will think about how we lived!

      1. Kiehn Stewart


    57. Gee Mee

      Having been there, since it's practically in my back yard, I think the mosquitos at that location are a bigger threat than the radiation.

      1. pida siouy

        How ✍️To✍️Become ✍️A✍️Superhero

    58. ARTiculations

      I heart Vanessa so much!!!

    59. Αlexander Μilonopoulos

      It’s the designated FIblock blogger song!

    60. haugstule

      1:14 ThatBoatGuy breathing intensifies.

    61. Elizabeth C

      Mr. Scott? Could you do an episode about breathable liquid? Like in sci fi films I am not sure I'm aloud to name.

      1. D Carbs

        I have heard it's possible. It's the lack of oxygen in liquids that drown you, so if enough free oxygen* is available in the liquid, you could theoretically breathe it. As opposed to being part of the compound of the liquid, e.g. in water.

    62. doliio volay

      Trash + Time = An Artifact Imagine what future archaeologists will think about how we lived!

    63. Miro Salmi

      Can I ask you what would happen if you shot a gun in space or a vaccuum? I have been searching online for a while but I am not getting a satisfying answer. Could the gunpowder combust due to lack of oxygen? or would the firing pin only make a dent in the primer? Thank you '

      1. Rob

        @doliio volay What does this have to do with the question asked?

      2. doliio volay

        Too many moldy new York style pizzas on the beach duh... That's why its radioactive

    64. HuggyBear Bear

      Thank you Tom Scott for your awesome videos! I have just discovered your channel a month ago and I have enjoyed every video I’ve seen.

    65. Friedrich Volkmann

      A bottle from 1929? Here in central Europe, millions of shards from bronze and iron age lie around in the crop fields. When the postal office in Rasumofskygasse in Vienna was rebuilt in 2014, they found settlements starting from around 5000 BC, but archaeologists were only given a few months for an ermergency dig before it was all destroyed by the construction machines.

    66. Based Bidoof

      I feel like this was shut down because someone's gonna clean it up and sell all the "trash" so that way poor people can't go there and sell the trash themselves

    67. Immepoopy Gaming


    68. K W

      Such a weird channel this,a channel for weirdos

    69. jacob sharpe

      You ever thought about doing a video about the Roman baths in bath uk.

    70. AlanTheBeast100

      "What would someone in 200 years deduce about us from our junk mail..."? that we're absolute idiots comes to mind.

    71. PsychoLucario

      when I rented in college I found like 6 previous tenant's worth of unpaid cable bills stuffed behind a cabinet drawer. Tells me that everybody before me was skipping out on their cable bill

    72. seiom jvony

      a bit amusing ;-) (Referring to 1:39)

    73. Cryptid

      How ✍️To✍️Become ✍️A✍️Superhero

    74. Archibald Belanus

      So thank you low lives litterers for giving work to future archeologists

      1. seiom jvony

        I'm sorry, but future humans do not need artifacts to determine how we lived. They can just go to FIblock.

    75. Interplanetary Reconnaissance


    76. Alfatih Angler Lybaz

      Nice.. Nice tomeet you

    77. Jay Kay

      artifact = trash + time... archaeologists are gonna be so excited in a few thousand years

    78. Nick Carberry

      But there’s a more radioactive canal in New York State

    79. Benis Wenis

      Too many moldy new York style pizzas on the beach duh... That's why its radioactive

    80. Jeremiah Fernandez

      00:41 _Glass Butthole Beach_

    81. The British Meme Company

      I remember when i heard that people could Walk along ut

    82. Eleanorjm8

      I get your point but I think the stuff is radioactive even a little bit can be dangerous over time not worth the risk

    83. sokin jon

      When archaeologists 500 years from now dig into our dumps, they'll know when they get to 2020-2021 because there will be a layer of surgical masks.

    84. squee222

      problem with preserving trash for archaeology and the like is that we just produce so damn much of the stuff, and so little of our modern trash is biodegradable. If we preserved all our trash we would be buried in it. Save a few bits that are interesting, and a wide sampling of what you find, and move the rest to landfill

      1. sokin jon

        This reminds me of the potter’s-field graves of Hart Island north of Long Island- a chilling place indeed.

    85. RatseyThe_Rat

      Im going to it and grabbing every old coke bottle and old glass bottles and old shoes and clothing and id take it home, rinse it, and put it on display if i could do that

    86. hans yolo

      "diets and habits of past civilizations" its just barely a century ago, thats the same civilization.

    87. Steven Victor Neiman

      I'd disagree about the "time plus trash" thing. Sure, a lot of artifacts are things that people discarded, but a lot of them are also things people preserved past the ends of their own lives.

    88. Great Gonzo

      Imagine if email becomes a resource for future anthropology? Our descendants would think our primary activities were penis enlargement and transferring money to Nigeria.

    89. Joshua Latham

      I'm sorry, but future humans do not need artifacts to determine how we lived. They can just go to FIblock.

    90. Warhawk76

      The beach is an unofficial trash dump, that describes much of the city and state of NY....

    91. nix_kc

      Is this the real Tom Scott, or a Deepfake? My trust has been broken. Now I will question every Tom Scott video for the rest of my life.

    92. Sven Hesse

      Frankly, not sure going on a boat, with people, during a pandemic for shots of "it's 30.33m that way" is really worth it...

    93. Taffy Adam

      “Sand June”

    94. aola wili

      "Midden" is still a commonly used in scotland... mostly by mothers walking in to their Child's bedroom and upset about the mess.

    95. ady locke

      Tom Scott & Co. The worlds best trespassers

    96. LB Retro

      Can they not clear the site?

      1. aola wili

        environment.. clean this garbage up and stop being so sentimental about past society.

    97. BBJ

      There are beaches in Kerala, India with a high amount of naturally occurring radioactive elements like thorium.

    98. among drip

      ive been here many times before it was marked radioactive, and took some really old bottles home. i once found a perfume bottle from 1917!

    99. MidnightSt

      I'm going to call archeologists "trash hunters" from now on.

    100. Lawrence Calablaster

      This reminds me of the potter’s-field graves of Hart Island north of Long Island- a chilling place indeed.