This image has been making the rounds on the internet, with the following caption:

This is a ship-shipping ship, shipping shipping ships.

Image collected from 9gag.com showing the ship-shipping ship, shipping shipping ships.

The obvious question being: is this statement correct or is the picture photoshopped? And yes, I spent quite a bit of time searching around, but reverse image search only turns up the same image with the same caption all over the internet for me.

  • 23
    Naturally such a thing exists. This is a truck-trucking truck, trucking trucking trucks. Often, imports and such move in one direction, leaving empty trucks (and ships) at the destination. It is more efficient if another truck (or ship) brings the empty ones back instead of dedicating resources to bring back each one separately.
    – user11643
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 18:13
  • 7
    Technically, this should be a "shipping-ship shipping-ship, shipping shipping ships" since the ships it is shipping are shipping ships, not just regular ships (as the original wording claims).
    – Eli Rose
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 18:36
  • 8
    @EliRose The original wording isn't inaccurate; it's just less precise than your wording.
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 15:11
  • 2
    @Daniel: You're right! Really I think the problem is with saying "technically". xkcd.com/1475
    – Eli Rose
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 15:24
  • Someone should write a fanfic about these vessels, featuring a non-canon romantic relationship between two of them... Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 20:01

1 Answer 1



It appears to be a picture of the MV Blue Marlin - in fact it is written on the middle of the stern of the ship.

Blue Marlin is a semi-submersible heavy lift ship from Dockwise Shipping of the Netherlands. Designed to transport very large semi-submersible drilling rigs above the transport ship's deck, [...]

With this information, it is not hard to find other photos of the ship making the same or similar trips, so the chance that this has been significantly photoshopped seems remote:

  • 50
    Are the ships the ship shipping ship is shipping actually shipping ships (i.e. ships used for shipping)? Genuine question. This answer covers "ship shipping ship ships ships" but not "ship shipping ship ships shipping ships". Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 18:04
  • 38
    I have a hard time believing the exact image--why are the ships built in a fashion that allows them to be stacked like this? That strikes me as over-engineering. The ship being real doesn't mean the particular load is real. Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 19:13
  • 13
    Here it is carrying one ship; ships cannot typically be stacked.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 21:49
  • 15
    @LorenPechtel - It doesn't appear to be carrying ships, but rather pieces of ships. On the left side, there appear to be 5 sets of superstructure on top of the stack of hulls. They're components being transported to somewhere for final assembly.
    – Compro01
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 12:20
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    @Compro01 They're not quite components: they're river boats that have had their cabs taken off so they stack better. The boats themselves aren't capable of making voyages across the ocean so they're put on top of an ocean-going ship for delivery. Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 16:04

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