Science News

Scientists Hope To Solve The Mystery Of The H. L. Hunley Submarine

After about a decade and a half since the Confederate H. L. Hunley was raised the last time, scientists have raised its hull once again trying to solve the mysteries within it. According to a report by Fox News on Jan. 30, the sunken Confederate H. L. Hunley has been raised once again by scientists who hope to solve the mystery as to why it sank during the Civil War. This submarine was actually the very first one to sink the enemy’s submarine and scientists want to know all about the mysteries of it.

It has been a century and a half since this submarine sank. This once famous submarine was a hand cranked one used during the Civil War by the Confederate Army. Scientists were so excited to finally be able to get a look inside this once famous submarine that the senior conservator on the Hunley project, Paul Mardikiari had this to say about their exciting project with the H. L. Hunley:

It’s like unwrapping a Christmas gift after 15 years. We have been wanting to do this for many years now.

The famous submarine was discovered in 1995 off the South Carolina coast and was raised in 2000. It was then brought to North Charleston to a conservation lab. According to a report by The West Side Story, scientists have a tough job on their hands since the vessel was covered in hardened, caked sand, sediment, and rust the scientists call concretion. However, after a very careful study was done, the ship was able to be bathed in a solution of NaOH which will loosen the encrustation of the caked sand. The scientists also had to use small air-powered chisels and even dental tools to take the hardened gunk off the vessel of the ship. Now 70 percent of the hull of this ship is clean and scientists are now hoping that they can soon uncover the mysteries of the ship. They want to know why it sank right after its most awarded achievement of sinking the enemy’s ship.

Apparently, the crew who were on board of this once famous ship were actually knocked unconscious all those years ago by an explosion on it and scientists believe they went down with it. Once the Hunley was raised, the silt, sand, and the remains of the crew who were on board were removed from this ship.

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