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I love this ship’s origin/history. What the picture angle doesn’t allow you to see is the massive scale of this behemoth; As a general reference, each of those figures you see carved on the ship are life sized. But the reason it sank is even more mind blowing IMO, the man who funded the build of the ship just wanted it to be as big and ornate as possible on a fast timeline so the shipbuilder simply scaled a drawing of a standard large ship commonly built and did t account for the change in the center of mass, thus the buoyancy would fail due to a toppling effect from being too heavy. Even crazier, knowing this, the ship was still designed with al of the excess carvings you see worsening the effect. By the time it was completed, it was well known it wasn’t sea-worthy and had even failed some tests but the city was just like “Poland just declared war and this thing is taking up the entire harbor so I guess just go ahead and get it out of here” and so they tried and it of course immediately was rocked by gentle wind and then capsized not even two nautical miles from the launch, sinking in the harbor and taking over 50 lives.


That's not all. For me the best part of the ship's history comes right before it gets recovered. The location of the ship was well known so a group of Finnish students took a boat ride to Sweden, went to the sight of the recovery 1 day before the event itself and placed a statue of Paavo Nurmi (legendary Finnish runner) in the middle of the deck. The next day when the ship was lifted publically it was a huge shock when people found a statue of a runner on top of a ship that had been sunk for centuries. The whole event even caused a small political crisis between the nations. Greatest prank anyone has ever pulled off.




I think Paavo Nurmi holds currently the world recprd for most races participated in single olympics. Lasse Viren is also a legend and it is great to hear that he is known beyond Finland.


I am an American and have a set of framed Lasse Viren uh... tea cards? Little framed photos celebrating his victories that were included with tea, I believe? Anyway, all my friends thought Prefontaine was soooooo great. Great at being number two! Viren is the GOAT.


The second best was Hakki Hälinen


We dont speak about Hakki since the Dessa.


This was revenge for the Swedes blocking Nurmi from participating in the 1932 olympics where he would’ve had a good chance of a double-digit career gold total.


This reminds me of the sort of pranks that rival universities pull on each other, except with countries.


From a tour there I seem to remember them also doubling the amount of guns and then moving them to the upper decks to show off, further botching the centre of mass.


I vaguely remember reading that they fired all the guns from one side which caused the ship to destabilize and capsize.


According to the accounts of the day, a breeze caused the ship to list and before they could close the gun ports, water flooded in.


Damn you, Steppenwolf!


> the picture angle doesn’t allow you to see is the massive scale of this behemoth; The people in the foreground help.


Glad this was said.


From reading the wikipedia page: >The use of different measuring systems on either side of the vessel caused its mass to be distributed asymmetrically, heavier to port. During construction both Swedish feet and Amsterdam feet were in use by different teams. Archaeologists have found four rulers used by the workmen who built the ship. Two were calibrated in Swedish feet, which had 12 inches, while the other two measured Amsterdam feet, which had 11 inches.\[76\] [https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa\_(ship)](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship)) Gotta love that lack of standard units, and the quality assurance that they didn't disover and correct it early on. \*chef kiss\*




You're alluding to this, right? https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1999-oct-01-mn-17288-story.html


Hence why they only use metric now and why I know 1 inch is 25.4mm




There are only two things I can't stand in this world: people who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch.


"So what you're saying is, the ship is unsinkable!" "No, no, why even a slight breeze could..." "Unsinkable!"


"Building this ship would be unthinkable" "Unsinkable you say? Let's get started!"


> simply scaled a drawing of a standard large ship commonly built and did t account for the change in the center of mass, Also, volume increases faster than surface area which isn’t an intuitive idea to humans, much less the math.


What caused the center of gravity to change?


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship) http://www.abc.se/~m10354/publ/vasa.htm Here is more information on the ship. Really interesting read


>[Vasa] is a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship sank after sailing roughly 1,300 m (1,400 yd) into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. . >Since her recovery, Vasa has become a widely recognised symbol of the Swedish Empire. These two statements seem contradictory.


Not necessarily. For example, the writer could be implying that the Swedish Empire was an embarrassing failure, or an extravagant castle-in-the-air, or a potential superpower brought down by misguided royal intervention, or [insert appropriate suggestion here].




Swedish wars were largely made up of nobles sacking other countries for their own gain (in Germany, Poland).


I would make the argument that most, if not all, wars are largely made up of that.


I think you are right. Except civil wars, and maybe the clone wars.


The clone wars were definitely a money grab for the federation.


What about the droid attack on the Wookiees?


I shall go. Good relations I have with the wookies.


You fought in the clone wars?


Just don't let me be clonely tonight.


We thought the Clone Wars was a sacking of Star Wars legacy...and then the sequels happened and we were horrified to learn how wrong we were.




Gustavus Adolphus! Libera et impera. My favorite king.


If there's a lesson to the Vasa, it's that vanity is a weakness and the top never takes responsibility. At the insistence of the king (from the history plaques at the museum from what I recall) a second gun deck was built after the keel was laid, making the ship top heavy causing it to tip over shortly after launch. There were inquiries, and nobody found responsible.


Those two statements are complimentary then... *Shakes fist at my kullen*


I was just there last week. The design was flawed for its size but it would've been one of the most advanced and decorated ships of the day. EDIT: It was meant to serve as the official "palace at sea" for the king, kind of like Air Force One. EDIT TWO: The hull was too narrow to stow enough ballast rocks, so it was top-heavy and listed so much that water went into the lower gun deck about 1km from shore. Several died, including some women. It was preserved in the cold, brackish water for almost 400 years before being found in the 1950s and then salvaged.


It would have been. If only it had served it's actual most important number one purpose.


If this baby floated it would be a great ship!


Hahaha I can't believe I was downvoted for making a joke about how a ship would be really advanced etc *if it floated instead of sinking*. Then again, this is reddit. I merely underestimated the power of the hivemind.


Not its sinking?


It could be because the Vasa was launched about 17 years into the Swedish empire - just as an artifact from the time of the empire. I really don’t think there’s a connection between the ship sinking and the symbol thing. Just that this really cool ship from the empire times was found.


I was just pointing out the irony of having a failed ship be the symbol of the empire.


To be fair the Swedish empire went under as well so why not.


When you fail so hard your king ends up stuck in Turkey for a decade


Look, he slipped & fell into that turkey, I don't know what you heard, but it's wrong


[Contemporary depiction of the king of Sweden stuck in Turkey](https://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2021/01/09/TELEMMGLPICT000247252452_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bqn4xRlpI8rQaTeEWFc06e5TRRf_wCPGaoUwtZwM0hQ4w.jpeg)


You can't fail if you don't try.


Actually you can. I failed several tests that I put no effort into.


You should be a motivational speaker.


Well, the first 1299 meters were gloriously successful.


If I remember correctly, one reason behind the sinking was that the King kept changing the ordered specs and adding more guns (might have been an entire additional gun deck?) which ended up making the ship too top heavy. Also hardly any of the sailors knew how to swim, so pretty much everyone ended up drowning even though they were really close to land. Swimming became required knowledge in the Swedish Navy centuries later. And the irony is real, we laugh about it in Sweden.


Lmfao imagine building a ship for decades just to have it sink 5 minutes after it sets sail Edit: I said decades because I have the inability to retain anything I read but I’m keeping it up because I stand with my mistakes!


I imagine someone lost a promotion.


I think that was the issue, noone wanted to tell the king no.


Swedens chernobyl.


It took 2 years? Or am I missing something? 1626-1628


Literally decades




Months, even.


And some things which should not have been lost, were forgotten. History became myth. Myth became legend.


Decades were much shorter back then.


Welcome to engineering. You carefully design a something and then the client decides to add 2 floors and a pool to the building just because.


> Lmfao imagine building a ship for decades Lmfao imaging thinking "built between 1626 and 1628" is decades.


Lol I’m an idiot I totally missed that part


Man I'm scrolling through seeing all the comments razzing you for missing that and making the assumption that it took decades instead of just 2 years... and all I can picture is the men of the time standing there when you said decades throwing their hands in the air like "aww man. You hear this guy? He thinks we're some kind of idiots who would take decades to build this."


Task Failed Successfully


Swede here. Its a running joke that out most famous museum is a testament of poor Swedish engineering.


Or maybe we did it on purpose, just to show off? “Look here, we’re so far ahead of you guys so we’ll just sink this one ourselves just to show you we can. ”


16th century power move.


No. The Swedish empire crashed and burned quite quickly after Charles the twelfth's coronation. But the modern state is decent enough. The ship is a good metaphor.


This possibly explains why many of us have never used the words "Swedish Empire".


The photo from the front is interesting. All the little wooden figures are unique, except the recreated ones on the top railing. Looks like they played it safe and copy/pasted the one example they had, instead of guessing at what the missing figures might have been.


Fun fact, the figures carved into the back are a bunch of Roman emperors and then the King of Sweden in the middle (he seemed a tad egotistical).


Thank you for being so helpful by including the Wiki link!


To wipe their bums after a poop the sailors all use one thick rope to floss between the cheeks. They toss it overboard so the ship drags the rope in the water so the next pooper can re use it.


> the king's subordinates lacked the political courage to openly discuss the ship's problems or to have the maiden voyage postponed Man, nothing changes.


My second favorite coffee mug is a goodwill-found, hand-painted, Vasa-memorial mug. Pretty rad.


What’s your 1st favorite?


Straight boofin




The classic butt-chug. Caffeine to the max.


Just lower your ass into a bowl of straight black while in an even pace start tightening your sphincter and the coffee will stream into your rectum like it's a hose.




Boofing/hooping usually means up the butt.




World's Best Boss mug he bought himself.


This guy Offices


probably a Garfield mug from McDonald's in the 80s. Straight up best cups ever


His Denmark Kalmar War mug.


> Vasa-memorial mug https://www.vasamuseet.se/en/visit/shop I hope it's the white enamel mug from here.


Gonna need some mug tax


How many coffee mugs have you ranked?


I’d love to see this and be able to walk amongst the decks. I know I can’t tour it but it looks so cool


You can't walk on the ship itself but they have catwalks all around and above so you can see it very well. They have really awesome displays of the recovered skeletons and clothes of people that died with info about them.




Alright I didn't really want to win the Nobel Prize until right now


What is the easiest Nobel Prize you can win?


Becoming a US president.


I could've sworn we got to walk through the ship and I definitely haven't won a Nobel prize.


oh? Then what's this right behind your ear?


They used to let you up until maybe 15 years ago?


The museum is actually really cool. Highly recommend it


I actually got a tour on the ship itself as a result of knowing one of the conservators. It was extremely cool!


Go to Oslo instead to visit the Fram. It's much smaller and not as old, but it was the first to reach the south pole after being late for the north pole. It's made of massive oak trunks and you can walk through it during tours.


Sweet! Norway is on my list of places to visit


Just remember that in Norway people bring ladders to the supermarket since they've heard that the fish prices has gone up. So do not be alarmed when you visit Norway.


It was not “recovered almost completely intact” It was painstakingly reconstructed over the course of decades, work that is still ongoing to this day and will be for decades to come. Source: I was at the museum less than a month ago ;)


This! "Almost completely intact" is an overstatement https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Vasa_Beckholmen_1961.jpg


https://i.imgur.com/QsZzVyJ.jpg More like this.


Thank you. I'm glad somebody said it. This Vasa picture pops up every other week and people always claim it was recovered completely in tact, which is far from the truth. There's a great video here on the BBC of it being raised - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-47791179


All modern Swedish warships now have a huge location barcode on their portside for when they enter harbor.. ..and it's now much easier to Scandinavian.


Oh fuck off


C'mon, that was a pretty Swede pun!


Norway that is a Swedish pun!


I'm not gonna let this pun thread Finnish like that... gotta keep it going!


You're Dane right this isn't the end!


Oh man, that's about Oslo as you can go in terms of quality puns.


Let's take Stockholm knowing how bad his pun is


As a father of four I REALLY REALLY wish I had this one in my repertoire when we visited the Vasa a few years ago.


You son of a bitch, you did it, you really did it.


Have my useless award!


You take your upvote and get out of here.


Jesus fucking christ dad






I don't get it :(


Scan the navy in...( Scandinavian )


Oh god


Go to hell, that got a belly laugh out of me.


This is one of the most interesting museums I’ve been able to visit. The best part was being able to see all of the things they have preserved from the ship including the bones of the deceased.


Agreed. I like how it covers every aspect related to the ship, and how every space in the museum is built adjacent to it.


I loved the stuff they could find out from studying the bones! They would show a couple of molars and then be able to tell you it came from Ølga Anderson, she was 28, grew up on a diet of stewed spinach, predominantly lived near some løveli lakes, and received a nasti møøse bite age 6 while out with her brother.


Agreed. I was there this July and the museum is just amazing.




Hey guys, I work in the Museum and can tell by the comments that there are some contradicting and simply false rumours and facts being spread. So AMA and I'll do my best to answer your questions. It's an awesome place to work and I love telling people the story of this magnificent ship.


Why did it sink?


Contrary to popular belief it was not the king's fault. In the contracts from 1625 the exact measurements are specified and they are largely the ones we have today so there was no alterations during the building. The problem was that it was a deeply flawed construction from the dutch shipbuilder Henrik Hybertsson. This was the first time he built a ship with two gundecks and he simply built her to top heavy. The was to much weight above the waterline so once she started leaning towards one side there was not enough counterweight below the water to push her back into the upright position. Also it didn't help that the gun ports were open which sped up the sinking considerably. So in conclusion they hired the wrong guy to build it. TL;DR - The guy who built it had never built such a ship before and got the proportions wrong. She was to top heavy.


> Contrary to popular belief it was not the king's fault. It is true that the king was not involved in the design other than to specify the keel length. However, is it not the case that the ship failed a stability test one month before and that Vice Admiral Klas Fleming was present at this test? Most accounts state that Fleming did not notify the king of the failure. The museum's own web page speculates that this may have been due to pressure from the king to finish the construction: > Kapten Söfring Hansson hade månaden före avsegling låtit genomföra ett stabilitetsdemonstration. En av flottans mäktigaste män, viceamiral Klas Fleming, hade då varit på plats. Demonstrationen gick ut på att trettio män fick springa från ena sidan av Vasa (som låg i vattnet nedanför slottet) till den andra, och efter bara några vändor krängde skeppet så kraftigt att risken var stor för att det skulle kantra. Fleming ska ha sagt ”Om Hans Majestät ändå vore hemma!” – men han berättade inte för Gustav II Adolf om det oroväckande han sett. Kanske på grund av rädsla; kungen hade flera gånger skrivit till Fleming och uppmanat honom att få iväg Vasa – en större ombyggnad av skeppet för att göra det stabilare skulle innebära kraftiga förseningar. Source: https://www.vasamuseet.se/vasas-historia/utredningen


How much is restored vs original? I would have thought not much would have survived after so long.


Good Question. Due to the brackish water in the harbour in Stockholm and the toxic environment on the seabed (created by centuries of dumping trash in the harbour) the wood was incredibly well preserved. The common shipworm does not live in brackish waters and therefore no one harmed the ship for over 300 years. Thanks to these lucky circumstances about 98% of the ship is today original wood. Of course it went through an extensive conservation for about 17 years so now there is no need to keep treating the wood except climate controlling the museum. Hope this helped :)


Tackar för rättningarna.


Det var så lite så


Those old warships were incredible feats of engineering.


Not this one though. This one was a catastrophic failure.




Some things never change


Warships never changes


Been to the museum. By far my favorite maritime museum. We were told there this was the first ship with three gun decks. The ship was launched on the lee side of the island, sailed toward the windward side, then tipped when the wind hit the sails. Then it downflooded through the top gun deck. The museum has some creative displays showing life aboard the sailing ship, plus rooms with figures and soundtracks of the village and peoples' reactions to the sinking. Pretty cool.


The Wikipedia article characterized the wind as "a wind stronger than a [breeze](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship))." Poor sailing ship never had a chance...


> The water building up on the deck quickly exceeded the ship's minimal ability to right itself Savage


Gustavus Adolphus was a top tier King, general, and military engineer. He fell short when it came to the naval side of things, however.


It is still an amazing feat of engineering. Just slightly lless amazing then the rest.


I'd be more interested in displays of vessels that were able to stay afloat as representative of successful design standards.


I was thinking of the other ones; the ones the front doesn’t fall off.


At first I was like: yeah pretty nice. Then I saw the two people standing next to it..


You should check out the [HMS Victory](https://www.modelships.de/Museums_and_replicas/HMS_Victory_Portsmouth/gIMG_0339.jpg).


Which is still tiny compared to modern tankers and aircraft carriers. It's pretty crazy we can build these massive ships.


Yeah, but somehow I respect the older ones more because those things were built without power tools or any sort of equipment other than saws and hammers and shit.


Does the shit act as a kind of mortar between the planks? I'm unfamiliar with the old ways.


Not this one lol, this one was an utter failure


This is what happens when the managers make decisions for the engineers. Like the Challenger Space Shuttle.


The interesting/hilarious bit is that there’s grain carved into it everywhere. I had to ask someone why, and at the time, grain essentially meant money. So they essentially splashed their ship with dollar signs to intimidate the enemy. “Fuck with us, realize we got deep pockets”


Did they forget to put the plug in? Classic mistake


they actually sank because they sailed into a hidden russian submarine


No, it’s because the Swedish set sail before they Finnished it, so it Nederlanded again.


How many trees to make a ship like that


Allegedly 1000 oak trees.


One eyed willy's ship


Pretty sure Chester Copperpot was looking for that ship.


Do the truffle shuffle!


**Hey you guys!**


World peace could be met if everyone did truffle shuffle. Extra fact. Chunk had chicken pox and kept it secret and you can see it during that scene. :)


I was in Stockholm once, for about 5 hours. 3 of those hours I've spent in Vasa Museum. Was totally worth it!


The night before the recovery a group of Finnish students dived to the deck and put a statue on it. It was found after the recovery and Swedish archeologists considered it a historical sensation - until they later realized that the statue depicted Paavo Nurmi, a famous Finnish long-distance runner...


That's amazing, I'd love to see drone footage of the inside.


I have been here! Pictures can't accurately capture the feeling. Stockholm is just a wonderful city, overall. If I could get a visa, I would live there permanently.


Fun fact; My grandfather is an archeologist who helped not only with taking up the ship, but also cleaning it out and recovering items inside. He has his own section at the museum where the items he recovered can be seen. And because he worked at the museum, I too have actually been on and inside the ship! It was very exciting! I recommend any traveler in Stockholm to check it out! It’s an amazing sight!


I've visited the exhibit. It's really well put together and it's way bigger in real life than it looks on this photo




I actually had the privilege of going there in person and the museum is incredible. It’s basically a giant climate controlled glass box with walkways going up and around the ship, with exhibits for pieces recovered from the ship along the sides. The ship is colossal (it actually immediately sunk because of the sheer number and elevation of it’s cannons destabilizing it) and incredibly well preserved because the acidity of the water prevented organisms from breaking it down. If you ever find yourself in Sweden do yourself a favor and check it out, there isn’t anything else like this in the world.


It was pretty common for ships to go down on their maiden voyage back then. It was difficult to get all of the dimensions just right, and any errors in construction could easily lead to catastrophic failure. And of course, they would usually launch with full crews, most of whom couldn’t swim.


OG barn find, mint condition and low miles


From the Wikipedia page: "Five such ships were built after Vasa: Äpplet ("Apple"), Kronan ("Crown"), Scepter ("Sceptre") and Göta Ark ("Ark of Gothenburg"), before the Privy Council cancelled the orders for the others after the king's death in 1632. **These ships, especially Kronan and Scepter, were much more successful and served as flagships in the Swedish navy until the 1660s.**" Not hard to be more successful...


Damn, that thing has got to be at least ten feet tall


Really interesting is OP's username... Hmmmm


Was looking for a comment about it and yours is the only one. Do you like coffee as much as I do?


It’s amazing. Worth a trip to Sweden for that alone


This ship… this ship runs shivers down my back. It’s amazing and overwhelming at the same time.


I’ve been to that museum and this ship is more impressive than you can imagine. The rest of the museum is amazing too!


Is One Eyed Willie in there?