27 Incredible Photos Of Life On A US Navy Submarine

A U.S. Navy nuclear submarine is one of the most mysterious places in which a member of the military could serve.

Armed with advanced technology and enough firepower to destroy civilizations, it’s no wonder that every sailor aboard these vessels must have a secret clearance or better.

WATM scoured the Navy’s official website and asked the sailors of the Submarine Bubblehead Brotherhood for personal pictures to come up with these 27 incredible photos of life under the sea.

Deployment starts with departing from home port…

Mooring a submarine

Photo: US Navy

Submarine life is cramped…

going down the hatch of a navy sub

Photo: US Navy

Hatches are smaller than on surface vessels…

Bubbleheads – Navy speak for submariners – go without sunlight for weeks at a time.

us navy submarine under way

Photo: US Navy

Sailors as young as 18 years-old drive the ship…

steering a us navy submarine

Photo: US Navy

Seriously, even midshipmen get a turn…



Any sailor on a submarine can pull off Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” lean move. Here’s a photo of a skipper pulling it off…

submarine diving

Photo: YouTube

Angles and Dangles: When the submarine makes radical depth changes. Usually to ensure everything is stowed for sea properly.

There are no windows on a submarine; sonar technology is the eyes and ears of the crew.


 Submarines have some of the same amenities as surface ships…

Photo: YouTube

… but, everything in a submarine is modified to limit noise. These are rubber shock absorbers under the treadmill…

navy submarine rubber shock absorbers

Photo: YouTube

Here is a close-up of a rubber shock absorber…

submarine rubber shock absorber

Photo: YouTube

It pays to keep the cook happy…

Photo: YouTube

Submarine chow is some of the best in the Navy…

Photo: YouTube

Swim calls on a submarine are awesome. . .

submarine swim call

Photo: US Navy

After months in the ocean depths, a little Vitamin D (sunlight) could be just what the doctor ordered . . .

Photo: A. Ceglia

Photo: A. Ceglia

This is what a steel beach picnic looks like on a submarine . . .

steel beach cookout on top of a us navy sub

Photo: Reddit

Life-long friendships are made…

in the submarine berthing

Photo: S. Southard

Shipmates become an extended family…

the os in a submarine

Photo: J. Barton

Some things never change. This photo of sailors painting the sub was taken in the 1950s . . .

sub painting in the 50s

Photo: K. Haughton

This one was taken in 2010…

painting a sub

Photo: A. Ceglia

One lesson holds true in any era: Don’t use the submarine paint to dress up like the Hulk . . .

the hulk submarine paint

According to a Reddit feed, this man in Brazil used permanent submarine paint to dress like the Hulk. After unsuccessfully trying to remove the paint, his mother came to help with industrial cleaning materials. Photo: Reddit

Submarines sometimes break through the ice to surface on the North Pole.

submarine snow surface

Photo: US Navy

Santa wasn’t around for this visit, but these polar bears gave a big welcome . . .

sub ice surface polar bear

Photo: US Navy

Many sailors become shellbacks, but few have a blue nose…

blue nose submarine sailor

To become a Blue Nose, a sailor must have crossed the Arctic Circle in a Navy vessel. Photo: D. Gudman

The best words a CO could ever say are, “Folks, let’s go home.”

los angeles class submarine sun set

And nothing beats a homecoming…

coming home after a sub patrol

Photo: US Navy


USS Scranton sailor, Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Warren Jack holds his daughter for the first time after a seven-month deployment. Photo: US Navy