Scientists May Have Found Explanation For What Killed Civil War Submarine Crew

On February 17, 1864, the H.L. Hunley, a 40-foot-long Confederate submarine, sank to the bottom of the ocean off Charleston, South Carolina. The reason why is still a mystery.

That day, the Hunley became the first submarine to sink an enemy ship during battle when it embedded a torpedo in the USS Housatonic’s hull. After the torpedo detonated and sank the ship, the sub signaled to shore that its mission had been completed and started heading back to land…but it and the eight crew members aboard never returned. The sub sank to the sea floor.

After more than 150 years, nobody can say for sure what exactly happened to the men. One thing’s for sure, though — something killed them all suddenly and left no physical injuries.

After the sub was raised from the ocean in 2000, the hull wasn’t found to be majorly damaged.

Even when researchers unsealed the crew compartment, they still couldn’t find a definite cause of death.

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