National Geographic : 1954 Jul
68 French Navy, Official Up from a Sunless World Rises the Bathyscaphe, Pioneer of the Atlantic's Sea Floor Plucking a page from the prophetic fiction of Jules Verne, French naval designers have constructed a strange, two-man submarine capable of plunging 2~Y miles beneath the sea, free of any cables or hazardous connections with the surface. Here an Aqualunger greets the craft as it ascends from the virgin landscape of the depths. Opposite page: Bathyscaphe's balloonlike hull, "inflated" with some 20,000 gallons of lighter-than-water gaso line, supports a spherical steel cabin weighing 62 tons when submerged (12% out of water). Exterior motors drive the ship along the ocean floor at one knot. Lower: Barred porthole peers from bottom of the sub's air lock.