What Happened To The Nautilus?

Mustard
12 Apr 202416:56

Summary

TLDRIn 1931, Sir Hubert Wilkins embarked on a daring expedition to reach the North Pole in a modified submarine, the Nautilus. Despite numerous challenges, including mechanical failures and crew tensions, Wilkins persevered, pushing the limits of exploration. His attempt, however, ultimately fell short of its ambitious goal, leaving a legacy of determination and innovation in the face of adversity.

Takeaways

  • ūüöĘ In August 1931, Sir Hubert Wilkins and his crew embarked on a daring expedition to explore the Arctic using a modified submarine, the Nautilus.
  • ūüĆź The goal was to reach the North Pole and uncover the Arctic's mysteries, a challenge that had claimed many lives throughout history.
  • ūüí° Wilkins believed that a submarine was the ideal vehicle for Arctic exploration, as it could navigate beneath the treacherous ice.
  • ūüíį To fund the expedition, Wilkins used his personal savings and sought financial backing, ultimately partnering with newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst for media coverage.
  • ūüõ†ÔłŹ The Nautilus was retrofitted with numerous features to aid in Arctic exploration, including reinforced bow, sledge runners, hydraulic impact absorber, and ice drills.
  • ūüĆ°ÔłŹ Despite the novel features, the Nautilus faced numerous issues, including mechanical failures and the discomfort of cramped, cold conditions for the crew.
  • ūüĆä The expedition was plagued by setbacks, including a lack of working ice drills and a missing diving rudder, leading to suspicions of sabotage by the crew.
  • ūüŹÜ Wilkins was under immense pressure to succeed, not only for the sake of exploration but also to claim a prize offered by Hearst for reaching the North Pole.
  • ūüõĎ The Nautilus never reached the North Pole as intended, and the expedition was eventually called off, leaving Wilkins financially ruined and largely forgotten.
  • ūüďö The story of Wilkins's expedition highlights the harsh realities and challenges faced by Arctic explorers, and the lengths to which they would go to push the boundaries of human knowledge.

Q & A

  • What was Sir Hubert Wilkins's primary objective for using a submarine in his Arctic expedition?

    -Sir Hubert Wilkins aimed to reach the North Pole by navigating a submarine beneath the Arctic ice, believing it to be a more effective method than previous surface attempts. He also planned to uncover the Arctic’s great mysteries using the submarine's advanced scientific equipment.

  • Why did Sir Hubert Wilkins partner with newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst for his expedition?

    -Wilkins partnered with Hearst to secure funding for his expensive Arctic expedition. In return, Hearst received exclusive publishing rights, which he used to create a media sensation around the voyage, potentially increasing newspaper sales.

  • What were the major challenges faced by the crew of the Nautilus during their expedition?

    -The crew faced numerous challenges including mechanical failures, ice blockages, cramped and cold conditions, and health issues exacerbated by the sub's environment. They also dealt with the psychological strain of extended periods under ice in a confined space.

  • How was the Nautilus modified to navigate under Arctic ice?

    -The Nautilus was reinforced with heavy steel plates and a hydraulic impact absorber to protect against collisions with ice. It was also equipped with sledge runners and a hydraulic guide arm to navigate along the ice bottom, and had drills to bore through ice for surfacing.

  • What led to the failure of the Nautilus expedition?

    -The expedition failed due to a combination of technical problems with the Nautilus, such as mechanical failures and ineffective ice drills, and environmental challenges like heavy ice conditions. Additionally, the crew faced severe discomfort and health issues.

  • How did the public and media react to the setbacks of the Nautilus expedition?

    -Initially, the media, fueled by Hearst's sensational coverage, was supportive. However, as the expedition encountered severe setbacks and failed to meet the ambitious targets, media coverage turned negative, openly mocking Wilkins’s efforts.

  • What was Simon Lake's role in the Nautilus expedition?

    -Simon Lake was the naval architect responsible for modifying the Nautilus. He implemented numerous design changes to adapt the submarine for under-ice travel, though not all modifications were successful in practice.

  • Why did Wilkins continue the expedition despite numerous setbacks?

    -Wilkins was driven by a combination of personal ambition to succeed where others had failed, potential financial incentives from Hearst, and his commitment to his sponsors and the scientific goals of the expedition.

  • What happened to the Nautilus submarine after the expedition?

    -After the expedition, the Nautilus was deemed too damaged and worn to be worth repairing. It was deliberately sunk off the coast of Norway.

  • What legacy did Sir Hubert Wilkins leave behind after his expeditions?

    -Despite the failed Nautilus expedition, Wilkins was recognized for his earlier contributions to polar exploration. His ashes were scattered at the North Pole, commemorating his dedication to Arctic and Antarctic exploration.

Outlines

00:00

ūüöÄ The Daring Arctic Expedition of 1931

This paragraph introduces the ambitious Arctic expedition of 1931, led by Sir Hubert Wilkins, aiming to reach the North Pole using a modified submarine. The explorers set out to uncover the Arctic's mysteries, enduring harsh conditions and pushing their limits. The paragraph also touches on the historical context of Arctic exploration, highlighting the challenges and tragedies faced by previous explorers. Wilkins' innovative approach, using a submarine equipped with the latest scientific equipment, is contrasted with traditional methods, emphasizing the novelty and risk of his mission. The narrative also reveals the financial and media aspects of the expedition, including Wilkins' partnership with newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, aiming to turn the scientific pursuit into a media sensation and secure funding for the journey.

05:00

ūüõ†ÔłŹ Challenges and Concerns Before Departure

The second paragraph delves into the preparations and concerns prior to the expedition's departure. Wilkins, despite putting on a brave face for the public, harbored doubts about the submarine's novel features, fearing they might be unnecessary or even dangerous. The paragraph describes the various modifications made to the Nautilus, including the addition of sledge runners, ice drills, and a shock absorber, which Wilkins found questionable. Tensions arise between Wilkins and the submarine's owner, Simon Lake, over the requested modifications. The paragraph also highlights the technical issues that plagued the Nautilus, leading to repeated repairs and delays, and the pressure building on Wilkins to meet the Graf Zeppelin at the North Pole to claim the prize money. The media's shift from support to ridicule and the mounting challenges faced by the expedition are also discussed.

10:03

ūüĆ°ÔłŹ The Struggle Against the Arctic Elements

This paragraph describes the Nautilus' arduous journey through the Arctic, highlighting the crew's struggle against the harsh elements and the submarine's mechanical failures. The crew's physical and mental exhaustion is palpable as they face food poisoning, illness, and the constant threat of being trapped under the ice. The paragraph reveals the dire situation aboard the Nautilus, including the crew's desire to turn back and the disappearance of the diving rudder, which Wilkins suspects was sabotage. The pressure on Wilkins to continue the expedition, despite public and private urgings to return home, is emphasized, painting a picture of a man torn between his ambition and the safety of his crew.

15:07

ūüĆü The Legacy of Sir Hubert Wilkins

The final paragraph reflects on the aftermath of the expedition and the legacy of Sir Hubert Wilkins. Despite the failure to reach the North Pole and the loss of prize money, Wilkins' attempt to traverse the Arctic under the ice was a precursor to future successful missions. The paragraph also shifts focus to the USS Nautilus, a nuclear-powered submarine that accomplished a Polar crossing three decades later. Wilkins' financial ruin and fading into obscurity after the expedition are mentioned, as well as his final resting place at the North Pole. The paragraph concludes with a brief mention of a Soviet project on artificial suns, hinting at the continuous human endeavor to explore and conquer the extremes of our planet.

ūüé• Mustard's Nebula: A Platform for Exclusive Content

The last paragraph shifts from the historical narrative to a contemporary context, introducing Nebula, a streaming platform for exclusive content. It highlights the platform's unique offerings, such as in-depth videos on iconic machines and unrealized concepts, and its recent expansion into categories like History and Science. The paragraph emphasizes the platform's creator-owned model, ensuring that support goes directly into content development. It also mentions the variety of subscription options available, including lifetime memberships, and invites the audience to sign up for a discounted annual subscription to support the creators and access high-quality, exclusive content.

Mindmap

Keywords

ūüí°Arctic exploration

Arctic exploration refers to the historical efforts made by adventurers and scientists to discover and study the Arctic region, particularly the North Pole. In the context of the video, it highlights the challenges and the spirit of adventure that drove explorers like Sir Hubert Wilkins to attempt to reach the North Pole using a submarine, facing extreme conditions and technological limitations.

ūüí°Sir Hubert Wilkins

Sir Hubert Wilkins was a renowned explorer known for his contributions to the understanding of the North and South Poles. In the video, he is portrayed as a determined individual who, despite numerous setbacks and the skepticism of others, sought to innovate Arctic exploration by using a submarine to reach the North Pole, demonstrating his adventurous spirit and belief in technological advancement.

ūüí°Nautilus

The Nautilus, as mentioned in the script, was a retired World War One-era attack submarine that was heavily modified for Sir Hubert Wilkins' Arctic expedition. It was designed to be capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of the Arctic and to perform a feat no submarine had done before. The Nautilus represents the fusion of early 20th-century technology and the ambition to push the boundaries of human exploration.

ūüí°Media sensation

A media sensation refers to an event or story that captures the public's attention and becomes widely covered or discussed in the media. In the context of the video, Sir Hubert Wilkins sought to turn his scientific expedition into a media sensation to secure funding and public support. This strategy highlights the intersection of exploration, publicity, and the commercial interests of the media during that era.

ūüí°Technological innovation

Technological innovation refers to the development and application of new technologies or methods to solve problems or improve existing processes. In the video, the various modifications made to the Nautilus exemplify technological innovation, as they were designed to overcome the unique challenges of Arctic exploration, such as navigating under ice and surfacing through thick layers of ice.

ūüí°Challenges and setbacks

Challenges and setbacks refer to the difficulties and obstacles encountered during a project or endeavor. In the video, the numerous mechanical issues, crew illnesses, and failed equipment experienced by the Nautilus and its crew underscore the immense challenges of Arctic exploration and the relentless pursuit of goals despite adversity.

ūüí°Moral dilemma

A moral dilemma is a situation in which individuals must choose between alternatives that are, or seem to be, equally undesirable or unethical. In the video, Sir Hubert Wilkins faced a moral dilemma when deciding whether to continue the expedition despite the risks to his crew or to return home and face failure and financial ruin.

ūüí°Persistence

Persistence refers to the act of continuing in a course of action or belief despite difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. In the video, persistence is embodied by Sir Hubert Wilkins, who, despite the myriad of setbacks and challenges, continued to push forward with his Arctic expedition, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to his goals.

ūüí°Sabotage

Sabotage refers to the intentional damage, destruction, or obstruction of something to hinder its function or effectiveness. In the context of the video, sabotage is suggested as a possible explanation for the disappearance of the Nautilus' diving rudder, indicating a potential act of rebellion by the crew to end the perilous expedition.

ūüí°Financial ruin

Financial ruin refers to a state where an individual or organization faces severe financial loss or bankruptcy. In the video, Sir Hubert Wilkins risked financial ruin by investing his own savings and resources into the Arctic expedition, which ultimately did not yield the desired outcome and left him in a precarious financial situation.

ūüí°Nebula

Nebula, as mentioned in the script, is a streaming platform that offers exclusive content not available elsewhere, focusing on history, science, and technology. It represents a modern innovation in media, providing creators with a platform to share their work directly with their audience, bypassing traditional media structures.

ūüí°Orbital satellites

Orbital satellites are artificial objects that are launched into space and orbit a celestial body, such as Earth. They serve various purposes, including communication, navigation, weather monitoring, and scientific research. In the video, the concept of orbital satellites is extended to a hypothetical project by the Soviets to create 'artificial suns'‚ÄĒsatellites with the power to illuminate large areas of the planet, showcasing the ambition and imagination in space technology during the Cold War era.

Highlights

In August 1931, a daring expedition led by Sir Hubert Wilkins aimed to explore the Arctic using a submarine, marking a new era in polar exploration.

The explorers set out to not only reach the North Pole but also to uncover the mysteries hidden beneath the Arctic's ice.

The history of Arctic exploration was fraught with challenges, including harsh weather conditions and the loss of many lives.

Sir Hubert Wilkins believed that a submarine, equipped with the latest scientific equipment, was the ideal way to reach the North Pole.

The Nautilus, a modified World War One-era attack sub, was chosen for this groundbreaking journey.

Renowned naval architect Simon Lake made numerous modifications to the Nautilus to make it suitable for under-ice travel, including reinforcing the bow and adding a hydraulic impact absorber.

Wilkins faced financial challenges and turned to media mogul William Randolph Hearst for funding, turning the scientific expedition into a media sensation.

The expedition was plagued with mechanical issues, including a non-functioning ice drill and a missing diving rudder.

Despite the setbacks, Wilkins and his crew managed to travel further north than any vessel had before, reaching 82 degrees north.

The crew faced extreme conditions, with the Nautilus lacking heat and insulation, leading to sickness and discomfort among the team.

Wilkins was faced with a difficult decision: return home and face financial ruin or continue the perilous journey.

The Nautilus was ultimately forced to end the expedition, and Wilkins's attempt was largely forgotten until decades later.

The nuclear-powered USS Nautilus, named after the original, would successfully traverse the Arctic ice in 1958, gaining widespread recognition.

Sir Hubert Wilkins, once a celebrated explorer, ended his life financially ruined and largely forgotten, but his ashes were scattered at the North Pole as per his wishes.

The story of Wilkins's Arctic expedition is a testament to the spirit of exploration and the challenges faced by those who push the boundaries of human knowledge.

The transcript also introduces a mysterious Soviet project to launch artificial suns, illustrating the ongoing human endeavor to harness and utilize space for the betterment of life on Earth.

Nebula, a streaming platform offering exclusive content on history, science, and technology, provides a unique perspective on the stories behind iconic machines and fascinating concepts.

Transcripts

00:02

In August 1931, a submarine approaches  the edge of the known world.

00:07

It’s about to enter a massive frozen unknown. A part  of the world remains largely unexplored.

00:14

On board are a group of daring  explorers determined to uncover the Arctic’s great mysteries.

00:21

Setting out to not only reach the top of the world,  

00:25

but to discover what lies hidden beneath it. In a new kind of exploration machine.  

00:30

Enduring cramped conditions and frigid  temperatures, they’ll push ahead for thousands  

00:35

of kilometers under the ice. But as days turn to weeks, the expedition will go horribly wrong.

00:48

For centuries, explorers tried repeatedly to reach  the top of the world. At first, they used ships,  

00:54

battling frigid temperatures and treacherous  sea ice. Their vessels often became trapped,  

01:00

stranding crews with little hope of rescue.  Later, explorers tried with dog sleds or even  

01:05

on foot, often ending tragically. Over the  centuries hundreds of explorers perished.  

01:12

So challenging was the Arctic,  that the first undisputed discovery  

01:16

of the North Pole wasn’t until 1926. And it was only from the air, in a modified  

01:22

airship that never even touched the ground. So, when accomplished explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins  

01:28

planned to set foot on the North Pole, he was  convinced there was a better way to do it.  

01:33

The North Pole doesn’t lie on a continental  land mass like the South Pole. Instead,  

01:38

it’s located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean  amid waters almost always covered in ice.  

01:44

Wilkins was convinced that a submarine  would be the ultimate way to reach the  

01:49

North Pole. And fitted with the latest  scientific equipment, it could help  

01:54

solve the Arctic's greatest mysteries.

01:59

Wilkins would set off in the summer.

02:01

First,  sailing across the Atlantic, then all the way  up to the Arctic Circle. From there, his  

02:07

expedition would head West, spanning over three  thousand kilometers. Over six weeks, he'd zigzag  

02:14

underneath the ice, emerging from the deep through  any openings, before finally ending in Alaska.  

02:20

To fund the expedition, Wilkins put up his  own savings and raised money from wherever  

02:25

he could. He lectured day and night, and even  wrote a book outlining his ambitions plans.  

02:31

But it still wasn't enough. He’d need serious  backing. And one sure way to get it… was to turn  

02:37

his scientific pursuit into a media sensation. A voyage under the sea ice was the kind of thing  

02:43

that would sell out newspapers. So  Wilkins made a deal with newspaper  

02:48

magnate William Randolph Hearst. A man  with a flare for sensationalism.

02:53

Hearst would get exclusive publishing rights,  and Wilkins would get his funding.

02:58

And to create even more buzz, Hearst  orchestrated for Wilkins to meet up at  

03:02

the pole with a second expedition. The massive  airship Graf Zeppelin would fly overhead just  

03:08

as Wilkins emerged from the ice. Captivating  the public with headlines of the pole being  

03:13

conquered from above and below. If he could pull off the stunt,  

03:17

Hearst offered Wilkins a one hundred  and fifty thousand dollar prize.

03:21

All that was left, was to find a submarine.

03:28

Wilkins planned to reach the North Pole in the  Nautilus. A retired World War One-era attack  

03:34

sub that had been heavily modified by renowned  naval architect Simon Lake. And it would have to  

03:41

do what no submarine had ever done before. The voyage would be fraught with danger,  

03:47

including the risk of a collision with the sea  ice. So Lake reinforced the Nautilus’s bow with  

03:53

heavy steel plates and concrete, and added a  hydraulic impact absorber to soften the blow.  

03:59

But the ice above could also prove deadly. So  Lake fitted the topside with sledge runners,  

04:05

which would allow it to slide along the  bottom of the ice, much like a toboggan.  

04:10

A hydraulic retractable guide arm would also  keep a safe distance from hazards above.  

04:16

The Nautilus could be confined under  the ice for days at a time. But it  

04:20

would eventually need to surface to take  on air and recharge its batteries. A lack  

04:25

of openings in the ice could doom the crew. So Lake innovated a series of drills capable  

04:31

of boring through the ice. Allowing  the Nautilus’s crew to drill through  

04:35

up to twenty feet to reach the surface. In place of the original torpedo tubes,  

04:41

Lake added a pressurized diving chamber,  where the crew could lower instruments  

04:45

to the ocean floor, or conduct dives. In all, Simon Lake made dozens of modifications.  

04:52

Originally built for World War One, the Nautilus  would now have to battle mother nature.  

05:00

On March 16, 1931, as the expedition prepared  to set off, Wilkins put on a brave face for  

05:07

reporters. “The men are just having things  on board now for the final inspection before  

05:12

leaving the dockyard. We expect in about  six or eight months to have made the trip  

05:16

two thousand miles under the ice. Starting from¬† Spitsbergen somewhere about the first of July‚ÄĚ. ¬†

05:20

But deep down, Wilkins was worried.  He feared many of the sub’s novel  

05:25

features were unnecessary. Even dangerous. He had reservations about the sledge runners,  

05:32

the ice drills, and the shock absorber Which he  worried would actually lodge itself into the ice,  

05:37

trapping the Nautilus beneath the surface. Wilkins insisted on installing a photosensitive  

05:43

electrical cell to measure the thickness  of the ice above so he’d know where to  

05:48

surface. But Simon Lake denied the request. The Nautilus was Lake’s submarine. He’s the one  

05:54

who leased it from the U.S. Navy, and he had  the final word on any modifications. Wilkins  

06:00

merely sub-chartered it for the expedition. There was little he could do, but accept the  

06:05

submarine as it was. But the wonder gadgets  would cause headaches before the expedition  

06:11

even began. Repeatedly forcing the sub back into  port for repairs. It was one thing to invent  

06:17

novel features. Trying to retrofit them onto  a tired old sub, created all kinds of issues.  

06:24

Confirming Wilkins’s worst fears, the ice  drills didn't even work during testing,  

06:29

and a separate engineering firm was  called in to try to figure it all out.  

06:33

The weeks turned into months, and Wilkins  was beginning to feel the pressure.  

06:38

If the Nautilus was to meet the Graf Zeppelin at  the North pole, time was of the essence. Otherwise  

06:44

Wilkins would lose out on Hearst’s prize money. By June, Wilkins had had enough. Mechanical  

06:50

issues be damned, it was time to get going.

06:56

The journey across the Atlantic was grueling.  

07:00

The tiny sub was easily tossed around by fierce  North Atlantic storms.The crew were also beginning  

07:07

to learn just how uncomfortable the Nautilus was. The submarine was cramped and claustrophobic to  

07:13

begin with. Now loaded up for the expedition,  there was even less space. For twenty men  

07:18

there was just a single toilet out in the  open between two roaring diesel engines.  

07:24

The crew would have to spend their entire day  standing. Because there wasn't anywhere to sit.

07:29

Only a handful of bunks shared  amongst the men provided any relief.  

07:35

Wilkins sent Hearst daily radio updates  documenting harrowing journey.  

07:41

‚ÄúThis morning an extra heavy wave swept the deck¬† and carried away the screen before the bridge‚ÄĚ ¬†

07:46

Nearly everyone aboard was seasick. And  when the Nautilus’s bilge pump failed,  

07:51

sewage, oil, and vomit began to swill around  the crew's feet. But as the tiny sub battled  

07:57

the fierce Atlantic, things only got worse. “The fourth cylinder of our starboard engine is  

08:03

badly cracked.‚ÄĚ Forced to shut down one of its two¬† engines, the Nautilus could only limp forward. ¬†

08:09

On June 13th, a week into the journey, the  Nautilus stopped sending radio updates.  

08:14

And for several days, no one had any idea  about the fate of the sub and its crew.  

08:26

On June 15, the Battleship Wyoming found  the Nautilus drifting aimlessly about  

08:30

a thousand kilometers northeast of the  Azores, both engines had failed and the  

08:35

batteries were dead. Wilkins would now face  the humiliation of having his sub towed the  

08:40

rest of the way across the Atlantic. Worse still, four crew members quit,  

08:45

and the Nautilus once again needed major  repairs. It would take weeks for replacement  

08:50

parts to arrive from the United States. It meant, there was no longer enough time  

08:54

to catch up with the Graf Zeppelin.  And In a stunning blow, Wilkins could  

08:58

no longer claim Hearst’s prize money. The media also turned against him, running  

09:04

headlines that openly mocked his expedition. Wilkins was under mounting pressure. His  

09:09

submarine didn't work. His crew was demoralized  and winter was fast approaching. At this point,  

09:16

just about anyone else would have thrown in  the towel. But this was Sir Hubert Wilkins.  

09:23

Even months behind schedule,  Wilkins pressed ahead. On July 28th,  

09:28

the expedition finally left for the North Pole. The Nautilus was still riddled with problems,  

09:34

but the crew had gotten used to making  repairs on the go, and any major issues  

09:38

were fixed during scheduled stops. By August 15th, the Nautilus had reached  

09:43

the last inhabited land before the Arctic.  And Wilkins was finally sending out upbeat  

09:48

progress reports. And on the 19th, the  Nautilus reached the first ice flows.  

09:54

To celebrate, the men were given a  break from the cramped conditions,

09:57

and began collecting scientific data. Back home,  Hearst relayed fascinating new discoveries, like  

10:03

a warmer layer of water deep below the surface,  thought to be vital for predicting weather.  

10:08

After traveling a week in the ice, the Nautilus  reached 82 degrees north. Further than any  

10:14

vessel had ever made it under its own power. It looked like Wilkins would actually do it,  

10:20

he would travel a thousand  kilometers under the ice.

10:25

But as the world read about Wilkins's  achievements, onboard the Nautilus  

10:30

things were not as they seemed. Wilkins had  once again, merely put on a brave face.  

10:35

In reality, the crew were exhausted and freezing.  The Nautilus had no heat or insulation. Nothing  

10:42

but bare metal separated them from the frigid  arctic waters. The crew were constantly sickened  

10:47

with food poisoning and dosed with lead from  the soldering in the submarine’s pipes.

10:52

Attempting the Pole this late in the season would  be extremely dangerous, and without exception,  

10:58

everyone wanted to turn around and head home. Everyone, except Wilkins

11:03

On August 22nd he gave the order to dive  beneath the ice. But the Nautilus refused.  

11:09

The diving rudder, the mechanism  that controls vertical motion

11:13

underwater, just wouldn't respond. Wilkins sent a diver to investigate  

11:18

and he soon returned with a stunning discovery.  The rudder had simply disappeared. Maybe it had  

11:25

fallen off and somehow no one noticed? Or maybe  as Wilkins suspected, the crew had sabotaged the  

11:31

sub in an attempt to end the expedition. By this point, even Hearst was publicly  

11:37

urging Wilkins to return home. But again, things weren't what they  

11:41

seemed. In a private message, the Hearst  corporation pressured Wilkins to continue  

11:46

to the Pole …reminding him of their agreement. And that left Wilkins with an impossible decision.  

11:53

Return home to certain failure and financial  ruin, or press on and risk the lives of the crew.  

12:02

On August 31st Wilkins ordered the  ballast tanks flooded and trim set  

12:06

two degrees down. He would force the Nautilus  to submerge by ramming under the ice.  

12:14

The sound of the sledge runners scraping  against the ice reverberated right through  

12:18

the superstructure, as if the  Nautilus was being torn apart.  

12:22

It’s as though Wilkins had  lost his mind. He couldn't  

12:26

possibly reach the pole in the crippled sub. But faced with an endless string of setbacks,  

12:31

Wilkins seemed determined to prove a point. They pushed on for several kilometers before  

12:37

Wilkins ordered a test of the ice drills. For hours the crew tried in vain to bore  

12:43

through just a few feet of ice. Each time,  Simon Lake's patented drill would only go  

12:49

so far before jamming. It was hopeless. On September 6th, Wilkins finally sent  

12:55

out the radio transmission that by  now, everyone was hoping for.  

12:59

‚ÄúOur Arctic trip is over‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

13:05

Wilkins had taken the Nautilus where 

13:07

no submarine had ever gone before. But it would be  another three decades before anyone successfully  

13:14

traversed the arctic underneath the ice. Sharing the same name the nuclear-powered  

13:19

USS Nautilus could stay submerged for weeks at a  time. It made its first Polar crossing in 1958,  

13:26

returning home to huge fanfare. By that point  Wilkins’s attempt had long been forgotten.  

13:33

The original Nautilus now lies sunk on the  ocean floor off the coast of Norway. After  

13:38

the crew returned from the Arctic, the sub  was deemed too worn and damaged to be worth  

13:42

saving. And it was deliberately sunk. Prior to the nautilus expedition, Wilkins  

13:48

was considered among the greatest explorers of the  20th century. Having made immense contributions to  

13:54

our understanding of the North and South Poles. But his final expedition left him financially  

13:59

ruined and largely forgotten by history. After passing away at the age of seventy,  

14:05

Wilkins's final wishes were fulfilled,  when the crew of the U.S.S. Skate scattered  

14:10

his ashes at the North Pole.  

14:17

In the dying days of the U.S.S.R., 

14:19

the Soviets begin working on a mysterious  project straight out of science fiction.  

14:24

They’re preparing to launch the  first in a series of artificial suns.  

14:30

Massive orbital satellites with the power to turn  night into day. Illuminating large areas of the  

14:36

planet to generate power, light up entire  cities, and grow plants in the far north.  

14:43

“They will transform perpetual night into  daylight. There could eventually be a whole  

14:48

network of those cosmic spotlights. You’re  talking about something which is several  

14:52

miles across. It‚Äôs the last vestige of the¬† old Soviet dream of industrializing space.‚ÄĚ ¬†

14:59

This is the little known story  of one of the most bizarre and  

15:02

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now dedicated to news, curated by the TLDR News  team to keep you informed about world events.  

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And we’ve just announced an exciting new batch  of Originals in development, covering a wide  

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spectrum of fact and fictional content. You can already start watching the War Room,  

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from the team behind RealLifeLore,  and get a monthly deep dive into  

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ongoing conflicts around the world. Nebula isn’t like other streaming platforms.  

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It’s owned directly by us, the creators, and that  means your support goes directly into improving  

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the platform and funding high quality projects  that otherwise could never have been made.  

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It’s never been easier to access Nebula.  With monthly and yearly subscription options,  

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and Lifetime memberships which allow you to pay  only once to get unlimited access, forever.  

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Sign up using the link below to support Mustard,  and get 40% off an annual subscription.

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