HMS Porcupine (1844)
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HMS Porcupine 1844
HMS Porcupine
Bringing a dredge trawl back aboard HMS Porcupine, by Sir Charles Wyville Thomson
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svgUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Porcupine
Ordered: 11 November 1843[1]
Builder: Deptford Dockyard
Cost: Hull £7,997, fitting out £7,050[1]
Launched: 17 June 1844[1]
Commissioned: 19 August 1844[1]
  • Survey ship 1862
  • Sold 1883[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Steam vessel, re-classified in 1844 as first-class steam gunvessel
Displacement: 490 tons[2]
Tons burthen: 381 68/94 bm
  • 141 ft (43 m) (keel)
  • 124 ft 7.5 in (37.986 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 24 ft 1.5 in (7.353 m)
Depth of hold: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Installed power:
  • 2-cylinder side lever steam engine[Note 1]
  • Tubular boilers
  • Single screw[1]
Crew: 80[1]
  • 1 x 32-pdr (26cwt) on pivot
  • 2 x 32-pdr (17cwt) carronades

HMS Porcupine was a Royal Navy 3-gun wooden paddle steamer. It was built in Deptford Dockyard in 1844 and served as a survey ship.[3]

Porcupine was chartered by the Royal Society in 1869 to investigate the deep sea bed to the west of Ireland with the intention of looking for living organisms below 600 m depth. The azoic theory of Edward Forbes hypothesised that life could not exist below this depth due to the great pressure. The Porcupine expedition disproved this theory by bringing up animals from 3000 m. This led to the funding of the Challenger expedition to survey deep sea around the world. The Porcupine Bank, an area of seabed to the west of Ireland partly detached from the continental shelf by a failed rift event, was discovered by this expedition and is named after this ship.[4]


  1. ^ The engine was removed from HMS Black Eagle (ex Firebrand)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Winfield (2003) p.?
  2. ^ William Loney website
  3. ^ Allaby, Michael (2009). Oceans: A Scientific History of Oceans and Marine Life. Facts on File. p. 128. ISBN 978-0816060993.
  4. ^ Porcupine Marine Natural History Society


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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