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'Magical' ship allows divers to walk at the very bottom of riverbed without getting wet

'Magical' ship allows divers to walk at the very bottom of riverbed without getting wet

This genius ship holds some impressive technical achievements.

It's not every day that you see a ship completely unlike anything else on the water.

But that's exactly what the Carl Straat diving bell ship in Germany will give you.

It's a riverboat that's been fitted with a massive steel pipe that leads down to a big enclosure that it can lower into the water, down to the riverbed below it.

A compressor blows air into the capsule at the bottom of that pipe to ensure that it doesn't fill with water as it lowers down, while a mechanism keeps it horizontal to ensure that this works.

This means that when it reaches the floor, it's basically an airlocked room that you can walk around in - so you're walking on the riverbed, without getting your feet wet.

The maximum depth of the diving bell is 10 meters, which means that it's much more suited to use in rivers than it is in the ocean.

Once it's on the floor, the crew of the Carl Straat can descend through the tube to reach the bottom, and can then carry out whatever work is needed, whether that's tests or actual construction work on the bottom of a river.

Regulations about air quality mean that work sessions can reportedy only last at most three hours for each person.

A YouTube video from back in 2020 showed how the boat works, as it recovered an anchor lost on the riverbed by another vessel.

This potential hazard needed to be removed, and the diving bell is the perfect tool.

It shows how the workers need to go into a pressurization chamber before they can descend to riverbed, to avoid adverse effects due to the overpressure at the bottom.

Even at just four meters deep, this can be a real issue, showing how complex the operation is.

bauhaus1000 / Getty
bauhaus1000 / Getty

Interestingly, the diving bell can even move around while it's on the sea floor, repressurizing when it needs to - so workers can walk along the riverbed, completely dry.

Once they eventually located the anchor, it was simple to hitch it up and lift it off the floor of the river, returning something worth around €6,000 ($6,500) to its grateful owner.

It's a great reminder of how many unique vessels there are out there with incredibly specific purposes - and people are amazed at the diving bell ship's ingenuity on YouTube.

One person commented: "It’s like some sort of weird magic technology to see the water disappear from the river bottom."

Another agreed, and speculated: "Imagine if they used a diving bell along the rivers in Paris, Amsterdam, or NY? How much junk, bicycles, guns, knives, cellphones, or even dead bodies would they recover? Crazy."

Featured Image Credit: wocomoMOTORS/YouTube