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The Micronesian island of Yap is known for its stone money, known as Rai (Yapese: raay), or Fei: large doughnut-shaped, carved disks of (usually) calcite, up to 4 m (13 ft) in diameter (most are much smaller). The smallest can be as little as 3.5 centimetres (1.4 in) in diameter. There are around 6,000 of the large, circular stone disks carved out of limestone formed from aragonite and calcite crystals. Rai stones were quarried on several of the Micronesian islands, mainly Palau, but briefly on Guam as well, and transported to Yap for use as money. They have been used in trade by the Yapese as a form of currency.
The monetary system of Yap relies on an oral history of ownership. In the case of stones that are too large to move, buying an item with one simply involves agreeing that the ownership has changed. As long as the transaction is recorded in the oral history, it will now be owned by the person to whom it is passed and no physical movement of the stone is required.
- "Rai Stones" | 2020-03-20 | 95 Upvotes 35 Comments
Starfish Prime, outer space nuclear test
Starfish Prime was a July 9, 1962, high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States, a joint effort of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the Defense Atomic Support Agency. It was launched from Johnston Atoll and was the largest nuclear test conducted in outer space and one of five conducted by the US in space.
A Thor rocket carrying a W49 thermonuclear warhead (designed by Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory) and a Mk. 2 reentry vehicle was launched from Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, about 900 miles (1,450 km) west-southwest of Hawaii. The explosion took place at an altitude of 250 miles (400 km), above a point 19 miles (31 km) southwest of Johnston Atoll. It produced a yield equivalent to 1.4 megatonnes of TNT. The explosion was about 10° above the horizon as seen from Hawaii, at 11 PM Hawaii time.
- "Starfish Prime" | 2022-02-05 | 69 Upvotes 9 Comments
- "Starfish Prime, outer space nuclear test" | 2010-07-01 | 41 Upvotes 24 Comments