Possible Inspiration for Verne’s Nautilus Found

British explorer, Colonel John Blashford-Snell, has found an early submarine that he believes was the inspiration for Nautilus, Captain Nemo’s vessel in Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. She was built in 1864 by a visionary craftsman, Julius Kroehl, for the Union forces during the American Civil War. But the boat, called Explorer, was never used in the conflict and was subsequently taken to Panama where she was used to harvest pearls. She was ideal for this purpose because of a unique lock-out system, identical to the one in the Nautilus from Verne’s book, published in 1870

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