Bathysphere: The World’s First Deep-Sea Exploration Vessel

On the afternoon of September 22, 1932, listeners across America and the UK tuned their radio sets to an extraordinary live broadcast that was being transmitted from inside a small steel sphere hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface. Locked inside the sphere was naturalist William Beebe and inventor Otis Barton, who designed the device. Through a telephone system supplied by Bell Laboratories, Beebe described the wonderful marine life that swam past his tiny quartz window—”a school of brilliantly illuminated jellyfish with pale green lights came within three feet of [our] window. I have never seen such brilliant light,” Beebe announced. Transmitting from 1,500 feet beneath the surface, Beebe and Barton was on their way to the deepest ocean dive in history.


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William Beebe inside the Bathysphere.


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