At 3,000 feet, their little porthole was subjected to nineteen tons of pressure per square inch. Death at such a depth would have been instantaneous, as Beebe never failed to observe in his many books, articles, and radio broadcasts. Their main concern, however, was that the shipboard winch, straining to hold on to a metal ball and two tons of steel cable, would snap and send the two men plunging to the seafloor. In such an event, nothing could have saved them.
The one thing their descents didn't produce was a great deal of worthwhile science. Although they encountered many creatures that had not been seen before, the limits of visibility and the fact that neither of the intrepid aquanauts was a trained oceanographer meant they often weren't able to describe their findings in the kind of detail that real scientists craved. The sphere didn't carry an external light, merely a 250-watt bulb they could hold up to the window, but the water below five hundred feet was practically impenetrable anyway, and they were peering into it through three inches of quartz, so anything they hoped to view would have to be nearly as interested in them as they were in it. About all they could report, in consequence, was that there were a lot of strange things down there. On one dive in 1934, Beebe was startled to spy a giant serpent "more than twenty feet long and very wide." It passed too swiftly to be more than a shadow. Whatever it was, nothing like it has been seen by anyone since. Because of such vagueness their reports were generally ignored by academics.