A civil war submarine that played a crucial role in history has been found at the bottom of the ocean near the Southeast coast of the United States. When scientists cracked the submarine open, they were blown away by the bizarre discovery inside.
The H.L Hunley
The submarine found was none other than the H.L Hunley, a Confederate army submarine used during the civil war. Built in Alabama and launched in July of 1863, the H.L Hunley’s career lasted less than a year, during which she sank numerous times, killing her crews and, eventually, her creator, Horace Lawson Hunley. Unlike the submarines we recognize today, the H.L Hunley was only able to be partially submerged and her track record of success was low.
Where Was It Found?
In 1970, a young archaeologist by the name of E.Lee Spence accidentally discovered the submarine during a fishing trip off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. The Hunley was covered in a thick layer of silt and encrusted with rust, which preserved the vessel remarkably well. In 1995, a diving crew confirmed the Hunley sank 100 yards out on the seaward side of where the Housatonic sat and sank to a depth of 27 feet.
What was it doing there?
On the night of February 17th, 1864, the H.L Hunley was on a mission to attack an enemy ship, the 205-foot Union Navy warship Housatonic. With a crew of only eight brave men, the H.L Hunley launched a torpedo, becoming the first combative submarine in history to sink a warship. This led to wide speculation. Witnesses claim to have seen a flare of blue light, signaling their mission was successful but the H.L Hunley never returned to shore. Why?
The Truth Is Uncovered
Over a century after her unfortunate demise, the H.L Hunley was raised from the ocean in 2000. Archaeologists began to search every inch of the submarine for clues that might reveal the cause of the sinking. Experts speculated for years. Did the Hunley suffer a malfunction? Was she struck by the enemy’s ammunition? In January of 2013, archaeologists made a significant discovery: the H.L Hunley was sunk by her own torpedo.
The H.L Hunley’s Crew
More shocking than the Hunley sinking was the discovery of remains inside the submarine, sitting in the very stations the eight crew members worked. No injuries were found, so why didn’t the crew try to escape? Was it the result of an unsecured hatch, torpedo explosion, or did the crew, knowing their odds of survival, accept death? If there’s one secret the H.L Hunley is keeping, it’s the truth behind what happened to those eight men on February 17th, 1864.