On September 21, 1997, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Yorktown (CG-48) was conducting maneuvers off the coast of Virginia. During the exercise, one of the ship’s onboard computers decided to test the bounds of mathematics and divide by zero.
Your math teachers probably warned you to never EVER under any circumstances divide by zero. And for good reason: dividing by zero caused the entire propulsion system of the ship to crash. This little mishap left the Yorktown dead in the water for four hours; she had to be towed back into port.
What happened? We need to go back to the good ol’ days of 1996, before some of you readers were even born (shocking, isn’t it?) The US Navy was thinking of modernizing its fleet to be able to fight in the new digital battlefield, so USS Yorktown (CG-48) was selected for the awesomely-named Smart Ship program. The Yorktown’s computers were installed with Windows NT, which were supposed to make her not only the smartest ship in the sea, but also the easiest to run–the computers ran the propulsion system (the ship was powered by freaking jet engines) and so were supposed to reduce the manpower needed to run the vessel smoothly, until that little “Dividing by zero-induced Blue Screen of Death” issue cropped up.
The USS Yorktown is currently awaiting scrapping.