Thousands of people walk, bike, and drive across the 135-year-old Brooklyn Bridge every day. Little do these commuters know that deep within this famous structure lies an emergency bomb shelter from the Cold War, which also happens to protect 352,000 crackers

Uncovering the Loot

No one outside the Department of Transportation (DOT) is sure of the exact location of these hidden crackers. But even the DOT was in the dark about the whereabouts of the shelter until 2006, when workers serrendipitously discovered the emergency hideout.

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Daniella Kelley

In addition to stumbling upon a boatload of crackers in the Brooklyn Bridge (which appear to still be edible), the workers also found blankets, water, and drugs to sustain hideaways in the event of a nuclear disaster. The boxes that contain these supplies are labeled with the dates 1957, the year of the Sputnik launch, and 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The crackers and survival supplies lie within the anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge, or the base where the cables are visible. Even though you can’t visit the bomb shelter, it's fascinating to think that this heavily traversed bridge houses artifacts that few even know exist.

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Razan Kawar

More Than Meets the Eye

Surprisingly enough, the shelter isn't the only hidden space within the Brooklyn Bridge. The massive structure actually hides eight other rooms, some with ceilings almost 50 feet high. The architect of the famous bridge, John Roebling, originally intended these areas to be open to the public for shopping. Instead, they were used for storage until 2001, when they were officially closed.

Several historians speculate about New York City’s motive in keeping this stocked emergency space a secret. In the event of a serious threat, who was the shelter really intended to protect? Regardless, the Brooklyn Bridge and its inner secrets give us intriguing insight into the mysterious history of the Cold War.

Can Crackers Go Bad?

The record shows that popcorn lasts a couple of years, while snack foods like crackers and pretzels typically last a few months. However, canned foods stack up under an entirely different rules. Low-acid canned foods, like carrots and peas, or, in this case, crackers, can last two to five years.

After considering these facts, you also have to acknowledge that the canisters of crackers inside the Brooklyn Bridge are watertight and meant to last a long time, in case of emergency. Additionally, these crackers have been stored in a cool, dark place, which helps to counteract expiration. Surely, these crunchy snacks are still edible, right? With limited access to the cracker stash, we’ll probably never know, but, for the sake of an underground underdog, I personally hope they are.

NYC Hidden Treasures

If you’re not in NYC exclusively for the hidden crackers, check out these delicious hideaways, which are sure to be tastier than 60-year-old snacks (or not, we may never know). But, if you happen to be craving crackers after reading this, try making your own. No matter how they come out, they'll undoubtedly be less dry and overall less questionable.