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This Beautiful Ship in Washington Has Been Overrun by Nature and Makes for an Amazing Stop




Who knew that coming to Anacortes, Washington, where the green of the forests meets the blue of the Northern Puget Sound, would treat you to an unusual yet amazing view?

Here lies a hidden gem that you need to see!

We’ll just say what’s on everyone’s minds. The overgrown ship hulk in Washington captures the imagination of photographers, nature lovers, and maritime enthusiasts alike!

The La Merced was a massive concrete ship built in the 1920s but since retiring from its intended purpose, it has become a stunning spectacle of nature’s reclaiming power! The hull has been overtaken by a lush, verdant forest.

Anyone will agree that the ship offers a surreal vision! It reflects both human history and the relentless force of the natural world.

The Overgrown Ship Hulk was originally constructed as part of a fleet during World War I

Source: Instagram

Due to the steel shortages, La Merced was one of the few remaining concrete ships designed to serve as oil tankers. However, the war ended before its completion, altering its destiny.

This ship briefly served as an oil tanker in New York before retiring to the West Coast. It was in the 1940s that La Merced met its final fate: repurposed as a floating log storage facility for a local pulp mill in Anacortes. Eventually abandoned, this ship broke free during a storm in the 1960s and grounded in her current resting place.

This Overgrown Ship Hulk transformed from an industrial relic to a breathtaking natural sanctuary

Like how nature takes back things, trees and various flora began to colonize the ship’s surface, thriving in the damp, marine environment. Today, the ship looks more like a small floating forest than a vessel made of concrete. The decks once bustling with sailors and cargo, now support a dense growth of bushes, grasses, and even mature trees. It also became a breakwater since!

Accessing La Merced is an adventure in itself

Source: Instagram

This spot is suitable for those who are respectful of nature’s work. Visitors can approach the ship by kayak or boat, allowing for an up-close look at this incredible example of ecological succession, provided that they are given permission.

Some advise that this is best viewed from the public roadway because it’s located inside a boatyard. There are “No Trespassing” signs around the area, so make sure you get permission first and not just violate anything just to get a closer look!

The ship is remarkably well-preserved in other aspects

Source: Instagram

The solidity of its concrete structure has withstood the tests of time, offering a stark canvas for the lush overgrowth. The surrounding waters are often calm, reflecting the ship and its forested deck, creating a perfect scene for reflective photography or quiet contemplation. It’s just too beautiful for words!

Location: The ship is inside Lovric’s Sea-Craft area at 3022 Oakes Ave., Washington

If you are into ecological and historical exploration, La Merced serves as a living classroom. La Merced promises an unforgettable visit, offering quiet lessons in the beauty of decay and the enduring power of life.


A writer big on nature, travel, and dogs. If you can't find Errot with her furry pal, then she's probably out exploring.

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