Some Questions Posed by Other Voices
Well after I had created my own list of what I thought were valid questions, I found additional queries created by others.
These came from the excellent paper by William Butcher in his “Translated with an Introduction and Notes”. He also included more thoughts from M. Jean Gagneux who designed an excellent plan for the Nautilus as well.
I include them here to show how similar our minds worked and how alike were our questions.
Why are the Scotia’s passengers having ‘lunch’ at 4.17 p.m.?
How do you ‘push’ someone along when he is floating ‘motionless on his back, with arms folded and legs extended’?
Why don’t Aronnax and his companions locate the platform during their first night on the submarine? ( I addressed this in my “The Platforms” page. RF)
How is Aronnax able to describe his own facial expressions?
Where does the out breathing-tube on the diving apparatus go?
How does the Nautilus manage to remain motionless in the depths using just its inclined planes and the thrust of its propeller?
Why does lightning strike fish, and not the much larger metal submarine?
What happens to the fragile objects in the salon when the submarine lists dramatically or collides with objects?
Why do Nemo’s apartments take up so much space, when his twenty crew members have a living space of 5m by 2m? (I address this in my design and notes for “Central Staircase & Entry” page. RF)
M. Gagneux also poses these pertinent questions.
How does the sun shine brightly at 100m depth, and how does it produce a rainbow underwater?
How does Aronnax hear rain 300m down? (I also addressed Aronnax hearing sounds from the platform while in his cabin in my “Some Questions Part I“. RF)
If the diving helmet withstands the pressure in the depths, why isn’t blood forced into the head from the unprotected body?
How does Nemo extract sodium from salt water, given that this requires a temperature of 3,000C?
How does a compass work inside a metal hull?
How does an 8-metre wide cylinder resist a pressure of 1,600 atmospheres?
How do you reverse a submarine at 20 knots through a narrow ice-tunnel?
Where does the Nautilus find the power required to do 50 knots? (I partially address this in my design and notes for the “Mechanical Room” page. RF)
Does the 16,000-metre rise in four minutes not equal more than 120 knots? What about the bends?
What happens to the inclined planes when the submarine goes clean through the ship? (I address this in my design and notes for the “Wheelhouse and Access” page. RF)
And finally, where are the toilets? (I also address this in my design for the “General Internal Views” Illustrations page. Although originally placed in the “head” of the ship, or the bow, in large sailing ships ( from which we derive the current reference), my research indicated a more general placement in later day ships and submarines. Since Verne did place a Salle de Bains (room of bathing) approximately amidships, I set the toilet room beside that. Keep in mind traditionally and to this day, the French separate the bathing room from the toilet room or WC (water closet). RF
I’m sure after so many people have read this novel over so may years, there may well be a multitude of additional question not mentioned here. As I find more of these, I’ll be sure to add them to these question pages.