Preservation​ of Organic Material in The Black Sea


The Black Sea off of the coast of the Ukraine is unique in that it has a dense layer of stagnant, oxygen deprived water which blankets its lower depths referred to as the “anoxic layer”. This layer has preserved shipwrecks perfectly, and is thought to preserve human remains as well, although none have been found. Anything organic which should rot away like wood, leather, cotton etc. stays completely intact for thousands of years under these conditions. It is theorized that 7500 years ago, the Black Sea was a landlocked, freshwater lake which crossed over a thin strip of land referred to as the “Bosphorus”, as the world’s oceans began to swell due to melting glaciers. This caused seawater to flood into the Black Sea and because it was more dense than the freshwater already there, it sank it to bottom and settled. The saltwater was cut off from the oxygen supply which it would normally receive from ocean currents. The anoxic layer is approximately 183 meters deep and produces hydrogen sulfide as a byproduct which is poisonous to most living creatures including those which consume and break down ships

The Sale of Meat In New York City, United States of America During the 19th Century


Butchers in the 19th century often turned rotting meat into sausage so that the meat it was made up of was unidentifiable and palatable. Butchers added the chemical compound Borax which is sodium borate to cover up the scent of the meat because the boracic acid would kill any bacteria present upon the meat. It was later discovered that Borax is ideal for keeping wounds clean, killing cockroaches, and cleaning floors, which provides a clear frame of reference in terms of its potential safety hazards when consumed. The meat would still smell and taste bad and would cause those who consumed it to become sick but despite this, butchers would add red clothing dye made from coal tar which sometimes had arsenic in it to freshen up the grey and brown color of the meat so that it was more visually presentable to consumers. Finally, stale bread or cookies were added to bind everything together before the meat was sold