Scientists have discovered a Japanese submarine of World War II in Hawaii coast, a technological marvel that was preparing to attack the Panama Canal, when the U.S. forces sank it.
The ship from "Sen - Toku" class with 120 meters was among the largest pre-nuclear submarines ever built, was found in August, on the southwest shore of Oahu and was missing since 1946, according to scientists of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
The I-400 and its sister ship, the I-401, which was found on the island of Oahu, in 2005, were able to travel one and a half around the world without refueling and could take up to three bombers with folding wings that could be launched minutes after the submarine emerged, according to scientists.
The accidental discovery of I-400 between rocks and debris from the ocean floor, about 700 feet below the surface solved the mystery of a ship thought to be farther away.
"We fount it while looking for something else... It's like watching a shark while resting," said James Delgado, a researcher aboard the submersible Pisces V who traveled to the wreckage.
The U.S. Navy captured five Japanese submarines, including I-400, at the end of World War II and brought them to Pearl Harbor for inspection, scientists said on Monday.
"He was hit by a torpedo and partially collapsed causing a collapse with vertical angle" said Delgado, an archaeologist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which helped fund the dive.
U.S. forces sank the submarine and said unaware about the exact location, apparently in an attempt to prevent the submarine technology from falling into the hands of the Soviet Union, which requested that the vessels would be returned to Japan.
The discovery was announced on Monday (December 2, 2013) after the NOAA has revised its findings with the U.S. State Department and with Japanese Government officials.