The Largest Fleet in the History of the World

09/15/2009 1:11 PM |

The Largest Fleet in History

A fleet larger than the British and American navies combined is sitting idle off the south coast of Malaysia. According to this great Daily Mail story, one more result of the world-wide economic downturn has been a serious lull in global shipping, leading most of the world’s major shipping concerns to just sort of stash their giant boats down in Malaysia:

The size of the idle fleet becomes more palpable when the ships’ lights are switched on after sunset. From the small fishing villages that dot the coastline, a seemingly endless blaze of light stretches from one end of the horizon to another.

This must be great for the indigenous fishing communities, who now also have to contend with pirates who come snooping around for what amounts to a one-stop, duty-free shopping experience. But really, who cares about the local dudes. This is all about optics:

It is so far off the beaten track that nobody ever really comes close, which is why these ships are here. The world’s ship owners and government economists would prefer you not to see this symbol of the depths of the plague still crippling the world’s economies.