Jules Verne's "Nautilus"

A submarine between facts and fiction

The Nautilus in the original illustration of Alphonse de Neuville and Edouard Riou historical
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It is arguably the most famous submarine in the world: the Nautilus, the dive ship from Jules Verne's novel 20, 000 miles under the sea . Their technology, which was almost connectable at that time, has shaped the submarine image of generations of readers and has inspired many technology pioneers to invent their later inventions. But how realistic and forward-looking was the Nautilus really?

Whether airlock, rudder or accumulator drive - some features of Nautilus were already close to real developments, while others, at least for those times, pure future music. Today, much of what Verne described in his book, published in 1869, has long since become reality: electrical appliances in everyday life, but also submarines that can stay at sea for months. Others, on the other hand, turned out to be a dead end technology development.

But where did Jules Verne get his ideas from? And how far ahead was he really to the technical achievements of his time?

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Nadja Podbregar
As of: 08.10.2010

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