Monday, May 20, 2013
Two Navy dolphins trained to search for underwater explosives made a surprising discovery off the coast of Coronado. Using their keen dolphin sonar, "Ten" and "Spetz" found an extremely rare 19th century Howell torpedo.
Mike Rothe of the The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command told the Los Angeles Times it was Ten who first identified the unusual object under water. A week later, Spetz also identified the object.
After two separate hits by two different dolphins, the Navy knew it had something big on its hands, and sent in the human divers to figure out exactly what the dolphins had discovered. It turned out to be a Howell torpedo, one of only 50 built between 1870 and 1889, according to Newsy.com.
Rothe told the Los Angeles Times:
"We've never found anything like this. Never."
The torpedo, now in pieces, is headed to its new home at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C.