If My Career As A Deep-Sea Biologist Doesn't Work Out…

…it looks like I could put my knowledge to use sneaking drugs out of Colombia.

In the annals of the drug trade, traffickers have swallowed cocaine pellets, dissolved the powder into ceramics and flown the drug as far as Africa on flimsy planes — anything to elude detection and get a lucrative product to market. Now, the cartels seem to be increasingly going beneath the waves, relying on submarines built in clandestine jungle shipyards to move tons of cocaine.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

3 Replies to “If My Career As A Deep-Sea Biologist Doesn't Work Out…”

  1. Actually they’re not subs at all. The article calls them submersibles but they’re really semi-submersibles (or at least the ones that the article describes). They’re similar to some of the ships used during our Civil War when actual submarines were sometimes considered risky, like the Hunley. Though they pick up the advantage of drastically reducing the silhouette when in this partially submerged mode.

    From what I’m reading it looks like these guys are making them well enough and actually have a good clue about naval architecture, they even have some Russian naval engineers working for them. So i wouldn’t be surprised to see in the near future actual submarines being produced in these jungle shipyards. Though, with the fiberglass hulls the smugglers are currently ahead of the measure/countermeasure race with the authorities so there is no need to go that distance yet.

    Maybe you guys could have one built to your specs, they apparently only cost $2 mil or so. It’s a deal, of sorts.

  2. Thanks for the info Dave. I’m sure the CIA wouldn’t mind us paying out a cool 2 mil for a submersible to a colombia drug cartel. lol

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