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The Staten Island Ferry is one of New York City’s most easily recognizable transportation systems. The bright, burnt orange of the boats transporting millions of passengers annually from Manhattan’s Whitehall Terminal to St. George’s Ferry Terminal on Staten Island are the only way to get there and back (unless you have your own boat).

With origins dating back to the 1700s, a form of the Staten Island Ferry has been around for as long people lived on the borough needing a means of egress. Naturally then, this NYC ferry system has some interesting secrets to share. From fake tragedies to uses as prisons, check out our top 13 secrets of the Staten Island Ferry.

13. There’s a Monument to a Tragedy That Never Happened

In Battery Park there stands a statue that remembers an unbelievable tragedy, that of a ferry being attacked by an octopus nearly half the size of the boat. The story goes that on a ferry that left the harbor on the early morning of November 22, 1963, 400 passengers disappeared after being pulled into the water to vanish (almost) without a trace.

The remains of the ship being found with large suction cup-shaped marks on their sides lead scientists to one conclusion: an octopus had destroyed the ship. The only reason the tragedy has been “forgotten” is that it occurred on the day of JFK’s assassination.

In truth, as you may have guessed, this event never actually occurred. But the tragedy lives on in the bronze memorial put in place by an artist Joseph Reginella. It isn’t meant to confuse or frighten but rather to cause wonder. The monument stands for creativity and love of all things weird that live in the hearts of every New Yorker.

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