Segments in this Video

Hunley Submarine (09:03)


The Confederacy's H.L. Hunley Submarine carried out the first successful attack but then sunk into Charleston Harbor. The Hunley successfully sunk a Union ship that was part of the blockade on Charleston. The submarine was well preserved by sediment and is being studied by archaeologists.

Rising the Hunley Submarine (07:58)

The Hunley was lost at sea for years because it was buried by silt. A metal frame was developed to bring the ship ashore without it breaking apart. Naval experts were impressed with the ships advance engineering for its time.

Understanding the Hunley Submarine (02:47)

Archaeologists are still trying to understand why the Hunley sunk after its attack. The submarine was damaged, but most happened after it sank.

Submersible Boats (05:00)

Bob Ballard is an ocean explorer, who develops technology to assist in his ocean expeditions. Ballard developed the Alvin, a submersible boat that is used for oceanic research. Alvin and its sister ship can withstand ocean pressures more than 14,000 feet underwater.

Deep Ocean Technologies (06:19)

Submersibles have given scientists the ability to study the deep ocean. Underwater research equipment has developed slowly over time. Submarines gained popular in the World War II but could only reach 700 feet underwater.

Exploring the Mid-Ocean Ridge (05:41)

The Mid-Ocean Ridge is an underwater mountain range that was first explored using Ballard's submersibles. Using Alvin, Ballard proved the ridges are volcanoes that formed the Earth's crust. He found hydrothermal vents and ocean life that lived on them.

Black Smokers (03:05)

In 1979, Ballard discovered black smokers, which are vents that shot out clouds of mineral-rich water. The water is heated in a lava chamber and is responsible of the chemistry of the oceans. The water was so hot it melted the outside of Ballard's submersible.

Finding the Titanic (07:07)

Ballard developed remote-controlled submarines that record information using digital cameras. Ballard's first remote submarine, Argo, discovered the wreckage of the Titanic. He found it by searching for debris trails instead of the ship itself.

Remotely Operated Vehicles (07:02)

Jason was Ballard's first fully remotely operated vehicle, which some thought could not effectively conduct research. The vehicles worked and created the field of deep sea archaeology. Ballard has reshaped how historians think about ancient sailing and shipping.

Credits: Mysteries of the Deep (00:45)

Credits: Mysteries of the Deep

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Mysteries of the Deep

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This episode of Scientific American Frontiers features stories of the submarines and their pioneering crews that explored earth's last frontier—from the ill-fated Confederate secret weapon, Hunley, which carried out the world's first successful submarine attack, to the deep-diving Alvin, which found the Titanic and discovered life in the deep ocean.

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: FPT151397

Copyright date: ©2002

Closed Captioned

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