Sunday, 19 May 2013

Dolphins locate 19th-century torpedo off California coast

The echolocation of bottlenose dolphins kicks butt compared to high-tech, billion-dollar military sonar equipment. Navy-trained dolphins discovered a 19th-century torpedo long lost in the deep water off the coast of Southern California.

During routine training for underwater mine detection, two dolphins, Ten and Spetz, each returned from dives and touched the front of a Navy boat, signaling that they’d found something. Odd, as this was an area where there should be nothing to find.

The dolphins led divers to the object, discovering a 100-plus-year-old Howell torpedo broken in two pieces, now inert. The brass-encased bomb, state-of-the-art for its time, is only the second known to exist. After cleaning, it will end up at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington.

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