Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
William Beebe's bathysphere was the forerunner of today's deep-diving bathyscaphe, which set the current diving record in 1960 when the bathyscaphe Trieste descended 38,500 feet into the sea. An excerpt from The Post of Aug. 12, 1934:
Hamilton, Bermuda, Aug. 11 (U.P.) --
Weird fish, "like stars gone mad," were observed today by Dr. William Beebe, American explorer, during a descent of almost half a mile to depths which man has never reached before.
Reaching a new and fantastic frontier in man's exploration of the universe, Dr. Beebe and Otis Barton, a fellow scientist, descended to a record depth of 2,510 feet -- eclipsing the previous record of 2,200 feet set by Dr. Beebe in the same waters. ...
No man had ever seen the sights that Dr. Beebe and his assistant saw today. In their hermetically-sealed steel ball, with 3-foot quartz windows, they shot searchlights into the unexplored depths of the sea.
For half an hour they stayed in the extreme depth -- under pressure which would crush the human body like an eggshell but for resistance of the scientifically built bathysphere of their steel cage.
From the time they were sealed in the sphere until they crawled painfully out of its narrow exit 3 hours and 19 minutes elapsed. The sphere, slowly lowered into the deep by steel cables, was under water for 2 hours and 51 minutes. ...
There was no supply of air, the necessary oxygen being supplied by chemical tanks which absorbed impurities of their breath.
"I never saw so many large fish," Dr. Beebe said, after crawling from the porthole of the steel ball, scarcely large enough inside, with its scientific instruments, to hold the two men.
He described how the water changed from blue to gray as they were lowered fathom by fathom.
After they had reached 1,000 feet, their surroundings changed to a darkness as black as midnight, he said.
At that depth are denizens of the deep which have never been seen in their habitat, although specimens have been dredged up, some of them to explode on reaching the lesser pressure of the earth's atmosphere. ...
Beebe was amazed at the size of the fish he saw at such depths.
Some of them were even 6 feet long. Huge fish and gigantic mammals such as whales are seen near the surface, but hitherto the deep-sea fish taken have been minute, fantastic and sometimes almost microscopic.
Beebe said he saw many strange and unidentified fish, never reported by scientists.
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