The Radioactive Beach In New York

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

Ladda ner



  • 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.

    Tom ScottTom Scott5 månader sedan
    • @TakOo u in

      Noah OrdNoah Ord3 månader sedan
    • sorry for being the person that corrects minor things on the internet ... but I have to point out that 100ft = 30.48 meters :)

      Michael SängerMichael Sänger4 månader sedan
    • If ur asking why 3week ago you bastards were not paying attention b4 Tom went on his break.

      elbob086elbob0864 månader sedan
    • Tom, you should do another video about the SEcrone algorithm. The Spiffing Brit is working to break it

      Flint 25Flint 254 månader sedan
    • Can you do a video on asbestos in talcum powder, there seems to be a lot of confusion around it.

      DJJOEDJJOE4 månader sedan
  • "Oyver this sand dune" "A little cloyser"

    Glen MorrisonGlen Morrison18 dagar sedan
  • That jacket is fly af

    Charles JuCharles Ju20 dagar sedan
  • i think they should decontaminate it while keeping the same look of the beach

    Mahmoud AhmedMahmoud Ahmed20 dagar sedan
  • It's so radiative that Google maps stop responding

    Ethan ForsythEthan Forsyth22 dagar sedan
  • Fun?

    Ethan ForsythEthan Forsyth22 dagar sedan
  • The empty ellipse inexplicably welcome because bubble adventitiously ruin like a new zoology. foregoing, lame semicolon

    rujue tatourujue tatou22 dagar sedan
  • I want to know how the radon levels compare with those in old houses in Cornwall.

    MsMousepusherMsMousepusher29 dagar sedan
  • I grew up less than 5 miles from there, spent a good part of my childhood exploring that beach. So many bottles, but also construction waste, lots of old tile and metal fixtures, and most surprisingly lots of old bones. At one point there were rendering plants that would process the carcasses of the thousands of horses and other animals that would die across NYC every year. After processing, the bones would just be dumped in the water. Not sure if it was official or just a local name, but the area became known as Dead Horse Bay.

    ex4579ex4579Månad sedan
  • I can't wait until enough time passes for junk on the internet to be dug up by "cyber archaeologists"

    QuestGiverQuestGiverMånad sedan
  • Governement: "Littering is illegal" Me: I'm just providing information to future generations

    Stack That CheeseStack That CheeseMånad sedan
  • Ahhh... I get it. So, hoarders are just being considerate. ... They're thinking of the future archeologists! What kind and sensible people to leave behind a ton of artifacts, mummified remains, and records of our time in the form of 96 stacks of newspapers. Thank you hoarders for collection midden.

    danteelitedanteeliteMånad sedan
  • Aaaaaannnnnnnddddddd.... This entire "closed beach, must be cleaned up" story is because developers want to build zillion dollar apartments on a private, exclusive beach. The state will pay billions to clean and remediate and private developers will profit. Same old story.

    Scott MartaScott MartaMånad sedan
  • Had no idea this place was radioactive, I've had school trips to there! Also, idk if it was that place, but somewhere in Dead Horse Bay, (the surrounding inlet, part of larger Jamaica bay, so named because horses were once rendered there, and horse bones are a very common find) is supposedly where the rubble from Robert Moses' redevelopments was dumped. I've found a calendar from the 1950s.

    Bill SummersBill SummersMånad sedan
  • 100s of years from now archaeologists will find a layer of covid-19 masks 6 ft. thick and conclude that a mysterious race of hypochondriacs once roamed NYC....and they'd be right.

    Frank S.Frank S.Månad sedan
  • The beach at Dalgety Bay in Scotland has been closed on and off since the 1990's for a similar reason. Radium on WW2 aircraft parts were dumped in the water, or the planes set on fire and every so often rough weather disturbs them.

    MarcMarcMånad sedan
  • I actually went there, not in the beach but there is a ice staking ring (aviators)next to it and I go there every time and I actually live like 1/2 a mile from it so I’m surprised

    QuantumQuantumMånad sedan
  • Well, that was rubbish...:D

    Sean JosephSean JosephMånad sedan
  • well tom there is a nuke off the cost of the united states near a populated area

  • Where's her mask?

    SteveVi0lenceSteveVi0lenceMånad sedan
  • lived in nyc mgmh entire life never knew of this

    Stefano ChiodiStefano ChiodiMånad sedan
  • "I'm not littering, I'm leaving artifacts for future archeologists!"

    DiamondrelDiamondrelMånad sedan
  • Neil Young intensifies

    Ham CHam CMånad sedan
  • I'm thinking she's aussie or nzer.... dosn't sound like your usual british drawl. awesome video anyway. I mean... there's probably thousands of sites that host Uranium Glass which pushes the radiation level up too....

    Jasper ForceJasper ForceMånad sedan
  • excellent

    Leopold5100Leopold5100Månad sedan
  • "One man's trash is another man's trejure"

    Black DragonBlack Dragon2 månader sedan
  • instead of cleaning it, as part of national park (did i get this right?), they just call it glass bottle beach and keep littering there? Broken glass might not be as hazardous as radioacrive material, but for wild life shardes of glass still are dangerous, the beach should be cleaned. If there really is interesst in the different layers of trash, well then dig out a block of sand and trash and take it to a lab for further examination

    Rumpel PumpelRumpel Pumpel2 månader sedan
  • I found 2 dead bodies here

    FAITH IN GODFAITH IN GOD2 månader sedan
  • The editing and shots give a Casey Neistat vibe to me

    Chaman Sw OdishaChaman Sw Odisha2 månader sedan
  • “A radioactive beach full of trash” “Woah” “In Brooklyn” “Oh okay”

    Adult Human FemaleAdult Human Female2 månader sedan
  • Cool video, good tour by boat, thanks for sharing

    Nature ShareNature Share2 månader sedan
  • That video was rubbish

    Shaun HendersonShaun Henderson2 månader sedan
  • Content

    Riley CarpenterRiley Carpenter2 månader sedan
  • It's alright, future civilizations can just dredge up the deep sea for our trash in order to learn more about us

    Friskyheart TryhardusFriskyheart Tryhardus2 månader sedan
  • For the algorithm.

    BB3 månader sedan
  • 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.

    HualaniHualani3 månader sedan
  • Baitch

    Martin SchwaikertMartin Schwaikert3 månader sedan
  • 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.

    Sergiu GavrilaSergiu Gavrila3 månader sedan
  • Dang I live right there and somehow never knew this place existed

    I.R. FineI.R. Fine3 månader sedan
  • 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.

    Debs E.Debs E.3 månader sedan
  • 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.

    DapstartDapstart3 månader sedan
  • Bold of you to assume that humans will still exist in 200 years' time, let alone civilization.

    Johnny CarcinogenJohnny Carcinogen3 månader sedan
  • Ah yes I too enjoy sailing on my boat called "Big Daddy"

    Luke MadsenLuke Madsen3 månader sedan
  • 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.

    Ada LiAda Li3 månader sedan
  • What a weird pro-littering video.

    Nick DoremusNick Doremus3 månader sedan
  • 0:58 wtf

    yesyes3 månader sedan
  • A very American perspective on what is "a long time ago" - 1920s? 1918?

    rsigibsonrsigibson3 månader sedan
  • 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

    chris thorneychris thorney3 månader sedan
  • Radium is released by Granite counter tops ... Some areas of the world have radium levels above this beach ...

    David HedgesDavid Hedges3 månader sedan
  • You might find a 3 eyed fish and Godzilla at the beach getting a tan. o.O

    dsalpha18dsalpha183 månader sedan
  • ارغب في لترجمه العربيه ارجوك

    ماموث Mammothماموث Mammoth3 månader sedan
  • I'll be an artifact when i'm old.yeyy....?!

    SoadPeetSoadPeet3 månader sedan
  • 3:43 “wow! This person sure had a lot of credit cards!

    JilkJilk3 månader sedan
  • 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.

    OicubOicub3 månader sedan
  • 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.

    D CarbsD Carbs4 månader sedan
  • I personally think maybe store the artefacts in a museum or just take the radioactive rubbish off the beach

    Blake MarshallBlake Marshall4 månader sedan
  • Well that sucks, that was one of the places I wanted to go too

    GrayWolfGrayWolf4 månader sedan
  • The amount of vocal fry had me stop the video. I'd wish vocal fry would stop being 'popular', or whatever it is.

    MELON8MELON84 månader sedan
  • Your tax dollars at work, chasing “above ambient” radiation levels.

    Salvatore ShiggerinoSalvatore Shiggerino4 månader sedan
  • In 10 yrs, SEcrone will become a midden.

    Psychic SidekickPsychic Sidekick4 månader sedan
  • 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.

    J eaglesJ eagles4 månader sedan
  • I was thinking someone took the *manhattan* project a bit too literally

    TTateTTate4 månader sedan
  • Preserving trash is all fine and dandy, but please don't do it on a beach.

    AanokAanok4 månader sedan
  • 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.

    Sitting StillSitting Still4 månader sedan
  • 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

    Clive HamiltonClive Hamilton4 månader sedan
  • My dumb hipster ass in NYC thinking about getting cool old bottles in Brooklyn despite the prospect of radioactivity

    crocman2coolcrocman2cool4 månader sedan
  • 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?"

    ErederEreder4 månader sedan
  • 0:54 no, your on a rocket ship

    J-J-JinglesJ-J-Jingles4 månader sedan
  • If, in America, a sign says: Potential Hazardous Materials *if u can read dis, u dead*

    AudieHollandAudieHolland4 månader sedan
  • 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.

    NortonTheProphetNortonTheProphet4 månader sedan
  • Gotta love how the National Park Service just closes down a beach instead of actually cleaning it up.

    George CorbulGeorge Corbul4 månader sedan
  • 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.

    Low Flying PotatoLow Flying Potato4 månader sedan
  • Gets on a windy, open boat, yet in close quarters (during a pandemic), but uses a drone rather than operating it on dry land. ???

    DoughyInTheMiddleDoughyInTheMiddle4 månader sedan
  • Your voice grates so much.

    Michael AndersonMichael Anderson4 månader sedan
  • So what happens if you enter an area closed by the park service? life imprisonment?

    RoScFanRoScFan4 månader sedan
  • earlier this year

    Nyx _Nyx _4 månader sedan
  • 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

    elhomer12elhomer124 månader sedan
  • 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.

    GemfyreGemfyre4 månader sedan
  • Woah

    Killua ZoldyckKillua Zoldyck4 månader sedan
  • The people of the future will know about all the single females in my area

    Tushar IslamTushar Islam4 månader sedan
  • So my bottles of saved semen will eventually be worth saving for more than just myself?

    mcspikeskymcspikesky4 månader sedan
    • Bestexperience

      Kiehn StewartKiehn Stewart4 månader sedan
  • I hope the future people who find my junk mail will do me a favour and shred it immediately...

    sankimalusankimalu4 månader sedan
  • 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.

    Gee MeeGee Mee4 månader sedan
  • I heart Vanessa so much!!!

    ARTiculationsARTiculations4 månader sedan
  • It’s the designated SEcrone blogger song!

    Alex ΜilonopoulosAlex Μilonopoulos4 månader sedan
  • 1:14 ThatBoatGuy breathing intensifies.

    haugstulehaugstule4 månader sedan
  • Mr. Scott? Could you do an episode about breathable liquid? Like in sci fi films I am not sure I'm aloud to name.

    Elizabeth CElizabeth C4 månader sedan
    • 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.

      D CarbsD Carbs4 månader sedan
  • Trash + Time = An Artifact Imagine what future archaeologists will think about how we lived!

    doliio volaydoliio volay4 månader sedan
  • 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 '

    Miro SalmiMiro Salmi4 månader sedan
    • @doliio volay What does this have to do with the question asked?

      RobRob4 månader sedan
    • Too many moldy new York style pizzas on the beach duh... That's why its radioactive

      doliio volaydoliio volay4 månader sedan
  • 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.

    HuggyBear BearHuggyBear Bear4 månader sedan
  • 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.

    Friedrich VolkmannFriedrich Volkmann4 månader sedan
  • 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

    Based BidoofBased Bidoof4 månader sedan
  • Bench*

    Immepoopy GamingImmepoopy Gaming4 månader sedan
  • Such a weird channel this,a channel for weirdos

    KJWKJW4 månader sedan
  • You ever thought about doing a video about the Roman baths in bath uk.

    jacob sharpejacob sharpe4 månader sedan
  • "What would someone in 200 years deduce about us from our junk mail..."? that we're absolute idiots comes to mind.

    AlanTheBeast100AlanTheBeast1004 månader sedan
  • 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

    PsychoLucarioPsychoLucario4 månader sedan
  • a bit amusing ;-) (Referring to 1:39)

    seiom jvonyseiom jvony4 månader sedan
  • How ✍️To✍️Become ✍️A✍️Superhero

    CryptidCryptid4 månader sedan
  • So thank you low lives litterers for giving work to future archeologists

    Marcello CassiniMarcello Cassini4 månader sedan
    • I'm sorry, but future humans do not need artifacts to determine how we lived. They can just go to SEcrone.

      seiom jvonyseiom jvony4 månader sedan