No, that’s not a shot of the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, it’s a photo taken just after the Boston Molasses Disaster of January 15, 1919. What, you mean you’ve never heard of the Boston Molasses Disaster?
It was an incident whereby a two-and-a-half million gallon molasses tank located at the Purity Distilling Company suddenly failed, sending a 15-foot wave of sticky death hurtling down Commercial Street at some 35 miles per hour. How molasses could reach that speed (and viscosity) in the middle of a January day I don’t know. But then it was a hell of a lot of molasses. The wave demolished buildings, train tracks and conveyances, killing 21 people and injuring 159.
How it all happened is still something of a mystery, though most experts at the time were convinced that the collapse was a result of shoddy workmanship and an over-filled tank. The company pinned the blame on anarchists, who most people forget were a major source of international terrorism in their day. But then Purity Distilling was facing a massive class-action lawsuit at the time so they would, wouldn’t they?