How low can you go?
Posted 11 April
Did you know that today it's Submarine Day? The atmosphere around submarines has always remained mysterious and relative secret. Submarines have played and play an important role in our lives. For the Navy and Marine purposes, underwater sea life science, polar expeditions, military purposes, oil and gas inspections and for example tourism.
We always wondered how deep you can go in a submarine. And the exact answer appears to be a Navy secret. What the Navy can tell you is that their submarines can submerge deeper than 800 ft. Research subs that explore the sea floor go deeper. The depth to which submarines can dive are limited by the strength of their hulls. Having a submarine aboard of your superyacht is a very private luxury, but this exclusivity is no longer impossible. These smaller subs can dive to a depth of 300m.
There's one mammal that sets the record. The Cuvier's beaked whale has been known to dive up to 3000m. That is almost 8 times the Empire State Building! Diving to depth can cause al kind of problems. When you dive with a submarine it's the hull that protects people from the pressure. Unlike the whale, who is subjected to the effects of high pressure. When a whale dives the hull will be its own body exhibiting an elasticity that is very different from the concept of a submarine. To be able to do this, marine mammals reduce air pockets by collapsing their lungs and have rib cages that can fold down. But exactly how the Cuvier's beaked mammal manages to avoid high-pressure nervous syndroms is still unknown.
Submarines can stay underwater for a long time. In the nuclear-powered submarines from the Navy air is not a problem, they make their own oxygen and keep the air clean. For how long they stay underwater, depends on their supplies and food. Generally, submarines stock food for 90 days. The British submarine "Astute" is nuclear powered and has no curbs on its range, because it refuels only every 25 years and some say it's the quietest submarine in the world.
Submarines are also a welcome toy onboard of superyachts. Of course their dimensions differ from the ones mentioned before. Often they are crewed with one pilot and two passengers, sitting in a single cabin with a see-through hull, designed for maximum sightseeing.
Apparently this Submarine Day can take many forms; celebrate the place of the submarine in the modern world, stand still for a moment to think about those lost at sea over the years and pay tribute to the courage of those who are beneath the ocean waves at this exact moment in time.
Sources: wired.co.uk, thebalance.com, Nationalgeographic.com