I recently mentioned the Narrows on a previous Morning Mug, but I find it so interesting that I am excerpting its history here today from its Wikipedia page. In the words of the Neil deGrasse Tyson meme, “Brace yourselves, knowledge is coming.”
The Narrows were most likely formed after deposition of the Harbor Hill Moraine about 18,000 years ago prior to the end of the last ice age. Previously Staten Island and Brooklyn were connected and the Hudson River emptied into the ocean through the present course of the Raritan River, by taking a more westerly course through parts of present day northern New Jersey, along the eastern side of the Watchung Mountains to Bound Brook, New Jersey, and then on into the Atlantic Ocean via Raritan Bay. A build up of water in the Upper Bay allowed the river to break through to form the Narrows less than 12,000 to 13,000 years ago as it exists today. The first recorded European entrance into the Narrows was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, who set anchor in the strait and was greeted by a group of Lenape, who paddled out to meet him in the strait.
Photo by Dmitri Kalinin
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