En route from Vancouver to Australia on Dec. 30, 1899, the captain of the S.S. Warrimoo spotted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. At midnight, he stopped the ship at the intersection of the international date line and the equator. At that moment, the ship was straddling two different hemispheres, days, months, years, seasons, and centuries, all at the same time. By passing between the bow and the stern, passengers could stroll between winter and summer, north and south, and the 19th and 20th centuries. The downside: For the Warrimoo, Dec. 31 disappeared entirely.
—So writes Futility Closet, ignoring the usual debate about whether a century begins with the 00 year or the 01 year.