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Photo of the USS Dolphin Submarine

Weekly Gem #59 Thriving under pressure

Published 2/20/2016

Location:   This 'hidden gem' is on North Harbor Drive in San Diego, CA, just across from Waterfront Park (see Clue Me! Map ).  The USS Dolphin was a research submarine specializing in deep dives.  She routinely dove more than 3,000 feet under the surface where the pressure exceeds 1350 psi.

This equates to over 960,000 tons pressing in from all directions ... well beyond the crush depths of most subs, and the comfort levels of most people.

How, you may ask, was this ship so strong under pressure?  Here's one reason, from the Welcome Aboard brochure for visitors:

"Another feature which we hope has not inconvenienced you too much is the access into the ship.  Because we go so deep, where the pressures are so great, it is best to keep any irregularities in the hull, such as hatches, to a minimum.  Consequently, we only have one hatch - but you are welcome down it anytime."

Clue

Deep Diver

Description

The USS Dolphin Submarine

Why It's Interesting

If you stand on the dock and look down the length of the sub, you get a real sense of how small it is, and how much like a sardine you might feel if part of the crew. Imagine packing up to 30 people into this small space for a few weeks or months.

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