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A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishing. Ships are generally distinguished from boats, based on size, shape, load capacity, and tradition. In the Age of Sail a "ship" was a sailing vessel defined by its sail plan of at least three square rigged masts and a full bowsprit.

Ships have supported exploration, trade, warfare, migration, colonization, and science. After the 15th century, new crops that had come from and to the Americas via the European seafarers significantly contributed to the world population growth. Ship transport is responsible for the largest portion of world commerce.

As of 2016, there were more than 49,000 merchant ships, totaling almost 1.8 billion dead weight tons. Of these 28% were oil tankers, 43% were bulk carriers, and 13% were container ships.

Ship Media

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New York Public Library's

The media on this page is placed in the public domain by New York Public Library, an essential provider of free books, information, ideas, and education for all New Yorkers for more than 100 years. Founded in 1895, NYPL is the nation’s largest public library system, featuring a unique combination of 88 neighborhood branches and four scholarly research centers, bringing together an extraordinary richness of resources and opportunities available to all. Serving more than 17 million patrons a year, and millions more online, the Library holds more than 51 million items, from books, e-books, and DVDs to renowned research collections used by scholars from around the world.

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