Best Left Turn

CSS Hunley

Staff Pick

Truth be told, seeing the CSS Hunley isn't a particularly wow-inducing thing if you're not a Civil War buff. Yeah, it's cool that it's the first submarine that ever sank another ship — and then somehow managed to sink to the depths itself — but the Hunley that you'll find at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center at the Navy Yard is really just a hunk of rusted metal; there's not a lot to see but a brown mass submerged in a huge tank of water. You can't peer inside it, you can't touch it, and you certainly can't sit down at its controls and imagine you're piloting it. One day, maybe. But for now, it's worthwhile taking a trip out to the Warren Lasch Center to read about the science behind the Hunley restoration — we're talking some interesting, cutting-edge stuff. Very cool. Speaking of cool stuff, last year the Hunley folks finally righted the good sub. See, when the sub was first discovered, it was resting on its starboard side, and it remained like that even when it was delivered to the Navy Yard. But now, the Hunley is sitting straight up, like it would have been when it was operational, and as a result, the brainiacs at Warren Lasch have finally begun to examine the starboard side in hopes of determining exactly why the celebrated vessel sank.

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