The Hunley is slowly emerging from the century-old crust. Kudos to the historians, researchers and conservators involved in this mammoth and painstaking project. They are keeping history alive for us.
The Hunley was found off the South Carolina coast in 1995, raised in 2000 and brought to a conservation lab in North Charleston.
It was covered with a hardened gunk of encrusted sand, sediment and rust that scientists call concretion.
Last May, it was finally ready to be bathed in a solution of sodium hydroxide to loosen the encrustation. Then in August, scientists using small air-powered chisels and dental tools began the laborious job of removing the coating.
Now about 70 percent of the outside hull has been revealed.
Mardikian said the exposed hull indeed has revealed some things that may help solve the mystery of the sinking.
“I would have to lie to you if I said we had not, but it’s too early to talk about it yet,” he said. “We have a submarine that is encrypted. It’s like an Enigma machine.”