Via Fark, this news…
A BRITISH explorer has found an early submarine that he believes was the inspiration for Nautilus, Captain Nemoâ€™s vessel in Jules Verneâ€™s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.
Colonel John Blashford-Snell discovered the half-submerged, cast-iron wreck off the coast of Panama while searching for ancient ruins.
She was built in 1864 by a visionary craftsman, Julius Kroehl, for the Union forces during the American Civil War. But the boat, called Explorer, was never used in the conflict and was subsequently taken to Panama where she was used to harvest pearls.
She was ideal for this purpose because of a unique lock-out system, identical to the one in the Nautilus from Verneâ€™s book, published in 1870.
â€œAnd 1864 was significant in another way because it was the year of the first sinking of a ship, USS Housatonic, by a submersible, the hand-cranked CSS Hunley.â€ Wyn Davies, a maritime historian, said: â€œIf Jules Verne was researching the relatively new world of submersible vessels he would probably have heard of the Explorerâ€™s lock-out system. Submarine inventors were keen to sell their products so there would have been none of today â€™s secrecy and technologies would have been keenly scrutinised on both sides of the Atlantic. As far as Iâ€™m aware, the Explorer had the worldâ€™s first lock-out system and its uniqueness might have stimulated Verneâ€™s imagination.â€
[keanu]Whoa[/keanu]. I knew about the Alligator–that’s right, the earlier boat of the American Navy was French-built–but not about this boat.
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