Living Underwater: How Submarines Work

  • Published: 05 February 2019
  • Try Brilliant out for free at
    The first 200 people to use that link will also get 20% off their annual premium subscription

    Subscribe to Half as Interesting (The other channel from Wendover Productions):

    Get the Wendover Productions t-shirt:

    Check out my personal channel:

    Support Wendover Productions on Patreon:

    Email: [email protected]

    Animation by Josh Sherrington and Elise Heersink
    Sound by Graham Haerther (
    Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster

    Special thanks to Patreon supporters Alec M Watson, Andrew J Thom, Arkadiy Kulev, Chris Allen, Chris Barker, Connor J Smith, Daddy Donald, Etienne Dechamps, Eyal Matsliah, Hank Green, Harrison Wiener, James Hughes, James McIntosh, John & Becki Johnston, Keith Bopp, Kelly J Knight, Ken Lee, Kyle, KyQuan Phong, Manoj Kasyap Govindaraju, MyNameIsKir, Plinio Correa, Qui Le, Sheldon Zhao, Simen Nerleir, and Tim Robinson

    Music by
    Select footage courtesy the AP Archive
    Select footage courtesy Bigstock:


Comments • 2 715

  • Wendover Productions
    Wendover Productions   7 months back

    I hope you enjoy this video! One note: the little numbers that pop up in the bottom-left corner are references. By matching the number to the ones at the bottom of the description you can find where a piece of information comes from in the video.

    • David Welch
      David Welch  4 weeks back

      There is a saying on the boat; that you never piss off the DOC, yeomen, and the cooks.
      I would like to say thank you for the acknowledgement of the cooks, because for the most part we are hardly ever mentioned. We are the heart & soul of the boat and we strive to do our best with what we got. 😎
      CS1(SS) retired USN

    • David Welch
      David Welch  4 weeks back

      @Carson Henderson
      Just be cool on the stories brother and I wish you fair winds and following seas. 😎
      CS1(SS) retired USN

    • David Welch
      David Welch  4 weeks back

      Thank you for calling the subs "boats". 😎

    • Jp gamez
      Jp gamez  2 months back

      I use to work in a sub but now work on a aircraft carrier

    • Pak Busu
      Pak Busu  2 months back

      sonar is old tech . currently , experts will sound off a whale or dolphin sound to detect other submarines . same principle as the sonar .

    ÜBERDEKAHEXATRON X  17 hours back

    They work like steel coffin

    • Yuck Fou
      Yuck Fou  18 hours back

      China building smart we need build smarter in years to come in advance

      • Yuck Fou
        Yuck Fou  18 hours back

        2 or 4 submarines? A year nooooo way build 50 a year or more lmfao plz plz necessary indeed

        • Yuck Fou
          Yuck Fou  18 hours back

          2400 submarines ++++++ 360 240 777 marines 100 200 3 66 u want a large amount of submarines maybe 100 a year id want 1000

          • Tyler Wilson
            Tyler Wilson  1 days back

            If we nuked Israel all of the world's problems would disappear.

          • WinginWolf
            WinginWolf  2 days back

            Me: Are there planes?

            5:36 lol a plane

            • Brian E.
              Brian E.  2 days back

              Love the Avalon picture at 10:32, taken in beautiful Morro Bay, CA!

              • ken edick
                ken edick  1 weeks back

                Look at video from WW2 diesel sub then talk to me about room. Been there done that.

                • Anthony Gameplay
                  Anthony Gameplay  1 weeks back

                  So an Ohio Class Submarine is BIGGER than the ISS.

                  • Nick Rogers
                    Nick Rogers  1 weeks back

                    I'm losing my shhhhhet... "SUB" "MARA" "NURS" killing me saying submariners

                    • iAmGhost1y
                      iAmGhost1y  1 weeks back

                      The chances of a submarine to collide with another sub is crazy.

                      • Larry Walsh
                        Larry Walsh  2 weeks back

                        There's a B in submarine. It's submarine, not summarine.
                        Also, it's sub-mariners, not submarine-ers.

                        • Rob Xones
                          Rob Xones  2 weeks back

                          oh my god, i never had any idea submarines can be that GIGANTIC! This blew my mind

                          • Samuel Johnston
                            Samuel Johnston  2 weeks back

                            You can deploy VLF at 300 feet, not just 60

                            • smithsway
                              smithsway  2 weeks back

                              It's odd hearing your pronunciation of submariner. It should rhyme with mariner as in the " The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" but with sub in front...

                              • Jack Spratt
                                Jack Spratt  2 weeks back

                                We need more of these things to kill each other.

                                • Bayernboy 2.0
                                  Bayernboy 2.0  2 weeks back

                                  5 MT.

                                  What was with the Nuclear Tests? Tsar Bomb alone had 50 MT

                                  • Bayernboy 2.0
                                    Bayernboy 2.0  2 weeks back

                                    @Koza Koziński Ah yes. Wouldn't be nice if it was dropped on Berlin 😅

                                  • Koza Koziński
                                    Koza Koziński  2 weeks back

                                    Tsar Bomb was detonated after WW2

                                • palmeristo
                                  palmeristo  2 weeks back

                                  All I see is an insane amount of money wasted for killing things instead of putting it towards progressing our species..

                                  • The Ethicist Philosophy Show

                                    Watch "Crimson Tide" with Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington, and Viggo Mortensen.

                                    • Marlon  Moncrieffe
                                      Marlon Moncrieffe  6 days back

                                      One of my fave submarine movies!

                                      I also like the underrated 'U-571' (2000)!

                                    • 4vndd
                                      4vndd  2 weeks back

                                      Spot on friend..and if you remember the main confrontational scene between the two..where the G.H. wanted to " push and launch" and D.W. was asking him to cool it...!!! Highlight of the movie...!!!

                                  • JEOGRAPHY Songs For Kids

                                    Spoiler Alert: They go underwater.

                                    • phi 0318
                                      phi 0318  2 weeks back

                                      Nuclear warheads have to be “turned on” to be dangerous. A crash would not detonate.

                                      • smithsway
                                        smithsway  2 weeks back

                                        True, but a load of functional warheads scattered across the seabed is not an ideal scenario...

                                    • ZEROVSFLIP2
                                      ZEROVSFLIP2  2 weeks back

                                      "8 hour working" that's rich, you dont know the navy lol

                                      • Jay Dobber
                                        Jay Dobber  2 weeks back

                                        Its sub-marin-er, not sub-ma-reener.

                                        • Bumblebee
                                          Bumblebee  2 weeks back

                                          SOOO claustrophobic just watching this! Ick. God I hope these sailors get paid well. I'm so grateful there are people willing to do this.

                                          • Michael Hunsinger
                                            Michael Hunsinger  2 weeks back

                                            There is a bonus for sub duty but it's not much, around $250-300 per month IIRC.

                                        • Astral'o Pithecus
                                          Astral'o Pithecus  2 weeks back

                                          You should try the food on Italian and French vessels. Americans can only dream of such food :)

                                          • Yoda
                                            Yoda  2 weeks back

                                            Spend as much as you want, US. But a Swedish submarine will always find you ;)

                                            • banmadabon
                                              banmadabon  2 weeks back

                                              I can't believe it...The demented two tone way of talking of the speaker of the by itself already demented site Ancient Architects has been adopted by the speaker of this site! It's not so accentuated but, could it be a trend? Shall I be surrounded by people talking like a 4th grade brat that's bullying his sister? Geez...

                                              • Sunquad
                                                Sunquad  3 weeks back

                                                Can you do "How The Mafia Works"

                                                • Ben Ghazi
                                                  Ben Ghazi  3 weeks back

                                                  I wonder what letter Boris sent to the ballistic submarines

                                                  Probably one about how the EU regulates the curvature of bananas....

                                                  • Stilbon
                                                    Stilbon  3 weeks back

                                                    I wonder what would happen, if all the crew were woman in one of theese submarines.

                                                    • ontheedge33371
                                                      ontheedge33371  3 weeks back

                                                      To think of all the problems that could be solved if the USA was not such a war mongering nation exporting death and suffering around the globe !

                                                      • What Zit Tooya
                                                        What Zit Tooya  3 weeks back

                                                        One way to track subs is magnetism. Subs have currents floating in them so when they sail, they disturb the Earth's magnetic lines. A plane or a ship can look for those lines disturbances.

                                                        • Ictpilot Ictpilot
                                                          Ictpilot Ictpilot  2 weeks back

                                                          @157 239n You have to fly over them and use MAD gear. Magnetic Anomaly Detection.

                                                        • 157 239n
                                                          157 239n  2 weeks back

                                                          The disturbances are tiny, absolutely tiny, how can they even hope to pick them up if they're not really close to them?

                                                      • Sam Neale
                                                        Sam Neale  3 weeks back

                                                        I swear to god, why does our government (Australia) name anything related to water after the prime minister who drowned

                                                        • 157 239n
                                                          157 239n  2 weeks back

                                                          In honor of him? I think it's a nice gesture

                                                      • Connor Skudlarek
                                                        Connor Skudlarek  3 weeks back

                                                        Sadly, this video's title is pretty misleading. I thought you were going to explain how they work, not the battle strategy of having submarines or the life of crew on submarines.

                                                        • J88go
                                                          J88go  3 weeks back

                                                          Why don't countries just make submarine killer drones that blast sonar all around, so if they find something they shoot if they get shot hey you just found a submarine.

                                                          • Super Kyle
                                                            Super Kyle  3 weeks back

                                                            So in conclusion, don't join the Navy

                                                            • Toby and James Goldsmith


                                                              • Chairman Meow
                                                                Chairman Meow  3 weeks back

                                                                I dont care who died, I wouldnt want to know until I could get off of the sub too.

                                                                • Steve H
                                                                  Steve H  3 weeks back

                                                                  I think everyone should know if Israel has nuclear war subs.

                                                                • RouxNBlind
                                                                  RouxNBlind  3 weeks back


                                                                  • 5306251
                                                                    5306251  3 weeks back

                                                                    "SUMMARINE" "SUMMARINE" "SUMMARINE" "SUMMARINE" "SUMMARINE" "SUMMARINE" "SUMMARINE" "SUMMARINE"

                                                                    • Didn DiDo
                                                                      Didn DiDo  3 weeks back

                                                                      Sooo...considering the destruction potential you explained in the first segment of your vid it's a frightening thought thinking about the shitty communication submarines have described at the end of the vid! We all are going to die!

                                                                      • Rainbow Girl
                                                                        Rainbow Girl  3 weeks back

                                                                        Really a good clip. Please keep them coming

                                                                        • Ásgeir Loftsson
                                                                          Ásgeir Loftsson  3 weeks back

                                                                          enjoyed but damn mention the propeller noise

                                                                          • Sean Rogers
                                                                            Sean Rogers  3 weeks back

                                                                            How do crew members deal with a lack of vitamin D? Considering the obvious lack of sunlight

                                                                            • Tfue
                                                                              Tfue  3 weeks back

                                                                              Sean Rogers you don’t only get vitamin D from the sun

                                                                            • Tfue
                                                                              Tfue  3 weeks back

                                                                              Well with vitamins or food, drinks

                                                                          • Shep Meister
                                                                            Shep Meister  3 weeks back

                                                                            North Korea with a Nuclear Capable submarine is laughable. I imagine the submarine to be more of a threat to its crew then its target

                                                                            • Andrew Scott
                                                                              Andrew Scott  3 weeks back

                                                                              This is why they have been dubbed The Silent Service