If you saw a gigantic cargo ship in New Bedford Harbor Tuesday, you're not alone.

The daily hustle and bustle of boats sailing in and out of the channel between New Bedford and Fairhaven is astonishing. Every day, fishing vessels, cargo ships, yachts and even super-yachts pass the hurricane barrier. Fish and numerous products from around the world are unloaded and sent out feverishly.

And then there was Tuesday.

Around 11:45 a.m., a huge cargo ship was seen pulling up to the New Bedford State Pier. According to MarineTraffic.com, the extravagant vessel named Wild Cosmos had just completed a 27-day and 13-hour trip from Busan, South Korea.

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Built in 1998, the 24-year-old Wild Cosmos cut through the Panama Canal between March 15 and 16, and traveled along the East Coast where it was delayed in Delaware before finally completing its month-long journey in New Bedford. The refrigerated cargo ship originated in the Bahamas, homeport Nassau, and reps the island's homeland flag.

Just how big is this boat?

Gazelle/Townsquare Media
Gazelle/Townsquare Media

Capable of shipping up to 10,097 deadweight tons, the massive ship is 491.86 feet long and 72.5 feet wide (from port to starboard). To put that into perspective, billionaire David Geffen's massive $570 million superyacht Rising Sun, docked in New Bedford in 2020, is 454 feet long, approximately 36 feet shorter than Wild Cosmos.

Courtesy Moe Lemieux
Courtesy Moe Lemieux

Ready for the kicker?

You always hear of the New Bedford port being known for fishing and exporting, but have you ever stopped to think about what's coming into the city? At first glance, you'd expect a ship of this size to be carrying luxury cars, complicated machinery, something big.

After a closer look, I realized that the giant cargo ship was equipped with refrigerated containers for perishable items.

Gazelle/Townsquare Media
Gazelle/Townsquare Media

I was right.

I asked a security guard at the entrance of State Pier if he had any clue what was shipped over 10,000 nautical miles and the answer was absolutely stunning:

Apple juice concentrate.

It's fascinating how extreme and complex the exportation and importation of world products is on a daily basis. Why a giant shipment of apple juice concentrate was needed here in our port and where all that juice is headed are beyond me, but I'm pretty sure, after all the investigating today, I know more about this one particular cargo ship than any other vessel in the world.

Curiosity took over and after four hours of research, I was able to mentally digest the oddest information about something I'll never need to discuss again.

Welcome to my life.

Take a Photo Tour of the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center

The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is celebrating five years of providing education and information about the city's most vital industry. While these photos can give you an idea of what it's all about, the exhibits are interactive and hands-on, so check it out for yourself.

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