What It's Like
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19 Things You Didn't Know About Living on a Submarine

Updated November 13, 2018 4.1k votes 763 voters 57.0k views19 items

List RulesVote up the most interesting and cool facts about sumbariner life.

Have you ever had the desire to just drop everything and run off to live on a submarine? Though it's tempting to abandon this world in favor of living life beneath the waves, not many people know what it's like actually living on an real sub. Fear not! This list will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about what it's like living on a submarine.

What are the bathrooms like? Can you even lift? There's more to life on a submarine than you might think. Sure, it's hard to tell time, but once you earn your Dolphin Pin, all the hard work is worth it. Read on for all the facts and details that you need to know before you decide to run away from your problems and start your career as a submariner.
  • 1

    Life Is Divided Into Three Six-Hour Segments

    Photo: tpsdave / Pixabay

    Forget living a normal life while on a submarine, you live and die on a strict schedule. The hardest thing might be adjusting to the three, six-hour segment routine you have to endure. Crew members get six hours for sleeping, six hours on watch, and six hours for free time.

    This kind of segmented schedule would be a lot to adjust to.

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  • 2

    Sharing a Bunk Is Completely Normal

    Usually, there are not enough bunks, or racks, for everyone. This is just something you have to get used to. It means that most of the time, up to three people are sharing the same rack. When one person comes back from a shift, he wakes up whoever of the three is sleeping and switches spots with him to begin his sleep shift.

    This is often called "hot racking," because usually, the spot will still be warm from the guy who was just sleeping there.

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  • 3

    Don't Steal on a Submarine

    Photo: clement127 / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    You'll learn to depend on the people around you when living in a submarine, which makes it an even bigger problem when someone's outed as a thief. One submariner told Foxtrot Alfa that the most important lesson he can offer people who want to live on a submarine is this: Do Not Steal.

    When you can't trust another crew mate, tensions run hot. Usually, the thief is discovered (because where would you hide something on a submarine?) and kicked off the submarine at the next port... but not without some payback. The same submariner went on to relate this story:

    "We found a thief. He was off the boat and sent home at the next port call, reduced in rank and out of the sub force. They returned all the shit he stole to the rightful owners, and in the middle of the night a bunch of guys kicked the shit out of him and took all his shit. He left the boat with little more than one set of uniforms, his wallet without cash, and his orders."
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  • 4

    Earning Your Dolphin Pin Is a High Honor

    Photo: Sharkbait784 / Wikimedia Commons

    One of the biggest sources of pride when living on a submarine, is the opportunity to earn your Dolphin Pin. It's basically a humongous gold star all crew members want to get. In order to earn it, you must know the basic functions of the submarine and know how to use the sub as a weapon.

    After you've memorized everything , you do a test run under the eyes of your commanding officers, who will decide whether or not you pass.

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