- a navigable, submersible vessel for exploring the depths of the ocean, having a separate, overhead chamber filled with gasoline for buoyancy and iron or steel weights for ballast.
- a submersible vessel having a flotation compartment with an observation capsule underneath, capable of reaching ocean depths of over 10 000 metres (about 5000 fathoms)
“diving apparatus for reaching great depths,” 1947, name coined by its inventor, Swiss “scientific extremist” Prof. Auguste Piccard (1884-1962), from Greek bathys “deep” (see benthos) + skaphe “light boat, skiff” (see skaphoid).
- A free-diving vessel used to explore the ocean at great depths. The original bathyscaphe, constructed in 1948, was made of a cylindrical metal float and a suspended steel ball that could hold two people. The float contained gasoline used to lift the vessel, and heavy iron material used for ballast. Design improvements allowed the second bathyscaphe in 1960 to descend to a record 10,912 m (35,791 ft) in the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean, almost to the deepest level ever sounded on Earth.
A deep-sea research vessel that carries a crew and is free to maneuver independently.