By Russell Miller
The Alvin, a deep sea exploration vessel, has been piloted on over 4,700 scientific dives during its long career. It can plummet as deep as three miles and takes two hours to descend to that depth. On dive number 202, on July 6, 1967 — off the coast of Florida, the Alvin, once settled on the ocean floor at 2,000 feet, was immediately attacked by an 8-foot swordfish. The 200 lbs. animal managed to drive its 3-foot sword in between two external panels of the Alvin and then thrashed wildly for the terrifying two hour ascent. Once on the surface, the animal expired and its bill broke off. The crew enjoyed several days of swordfish fillets.
Oddly Enough … During the entire event, the internal hull was never breached and, although the sword entered at a critical electronic junction, no contacts or wires were damaged.
Severe weather at sea has a history of stripping away and exposing hidden shores, changing ocean floors, and disrupting long-forgotten wrecks and relics of the deep. St. Cyrus, Scotland has been visited by large, barrel-shaped hunks of lard for decades following profound storms. It is believed these huge lumps of fat are part of the cargo of a merchant ship bombed and sunk during World War II. As the wooden barrels decay and the fat is freed by violent currents, the lard, still maintaining a barrel shape, washes ashore.
Oddly Enough … The fat is still considered usable — even when covered with barnacles. After World War II, the lard was considered a godsend since fat was in short supply for most people.
Russell Miller is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, bagpiper, motorcycle enthusiast, and reference librarian. Currently, he illustrates books for Cody Lundin and Bart King.