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Anecdotes from the Archive

Ramming a Submarine, 1914

“Ramming a Submarine,” says the caption for this image on the cover of the issue. It illustrates the British HMS Badger ramming the German U-19. Image: Scientific American, December 19, 1914

Reported in Scientific American, This Week in World War I: December 19, 1914 Scientific American in 1914 sometimes used large, single-theme images for the issue cover. Some of these images have no information with them at all. This cover has only a short caption: “Ramming a Submarine,” but no story inside. The image apparently illustrates [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

551 Feet Under the Sea: What It’s Like to Ride in a Deep-Sea Sub

exterior_curasub_underwater_200

I heard a screwing noise as the hatch of our sub was sealed. A bright orange hose from topside that had been inserted into the sub to blow fresh air as we loaded had been removed, and the interior felt warm and damp and close. All was still. Though I’d worried how I’d feel at [...]

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Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Nereus Lost

The hybrid remotely operated vehicle (HROV) Nereus during a dip test in Auckland Harbor in April prior to departure. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 10, we were on the seafloor in the deepest part of the Kermadec Trench when all of the video screens in the Nereus control room went dark. That wasn’t unusual, but it did signal a premature end to our 7-hour dive to [...]

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Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Snailfish Surprise in the Kermadec Trench

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—On the scale of the Pacific Ocean, the Kermadec Trench looks like a thin line snaking down from southwest to northeast just off the northeastern tip of New Zealand’s North Island. But when you zoom in and look even at the coarse detail that the ship’s multi-beam sonar can reveal, [...]

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Expeditions

To Hades and Back: One Trench Among Many

Nereus returns to the deck of the Thomas G. Thompson from a dive. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—Challenger Deep is the deepest spot in the ocean—that we know of, at least. The seafloor is so poorly mapped that there could easily be something deeper out there, but that’s not all that important to us. It’s been visited many times by both human-occupied and remotely operated vehicles, including [...]

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Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Feeding Frenzies of the Deep

Chimera_feat

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—While waiting for the weather to die down and for solutions to problems with our winch and the vehicle, the rest of our non-Nereus science program has continued. We have put both of the landers and the fish trap in the water almost every day so far at varying depths [...]

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Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Under the Weather

The R/V Thomas G. Thompson holding station over Maug caldera in 2004. / Credit: NOAA.

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—Our operations have been halted for a second day now while we wait for a storm on the other side of New Zealand to spin itself out. With no samples to process, many of us took a day off to catch up on reading or, for some of the undergraduates [...]

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Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Exploring the Deepest Part of the Ocean

The hybrid remotely operated vehicle (HROV) Nereus during a dip test in Auckland Harbor in April prior to departure. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Humans have been to every corner of the planet and built either an Internet café or a Starbucks in almost every city. You can find plastic in the middle of the ocean and Mt. Everest base camp is a vast rubbish heap. Satellites monitor virtually every square meter of Earth every day and Google has [...]

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