Inside a cocaine sub
Pictured at a U.S. government facility in Key West (map), Florida, in 2009, the old-fashioned captain's wheel inside a jungle-built submarine was used to steer seven tons of cocaine north from Colombia via the Pacific before being seized in 2008. Drug smugglers used to call the typical homemade sub el ataúd—"the coffin"—according to the New York Times. But the craft are becoming increasingly sophisticated and now boast modern electronics, navigation systems, anti-radar features—and even water-cooled mufflers, which make cocaine submarines harder to spot with infrared equipment. Criminal engineers are also extending the narco-subs' ranges, with some craft capable of cruising 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) without refueling, according to the recent National Geographic Channel documentary Inside Cocaine Submarines.