The science fiction and fantasy genres haven’t always been obsessed with traveling to the stars; there was a time when traveling to the great depths of the oceans held a similar sense of wonder and mystery. From the stories of Jules Verne to the underwater action TV shows of the 1960s and beyond, submarines have had an important influence on modern science fiction and fantasy. This infographic showcases some of our favorite submarines from the universes of fiction.


Submarines, submersibles and other underwater craft were conceptualized as early as the 1580s and developed in the real world over the next several hundred years. Starting with World War I and continuing through World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War and The Cold War, military submarines held a silent killer: Asbestos. Asbestos was used as an insulator because it is fire resistant and easy to work with, but the small confined spaces of a submarine meant that the airborne chrysotile asbestos particles were slowly ravaging the sailors and passengers lungs. It wouldn’t be until many years later that the inhalation and exposure to asbestos was found to be the cause of a rare, but deadly cancer called mesothelioma. We have a greater understanding of mesothelioma today, and our use of asbestos has diminished to an almost nonexistent state.