Explorer (submarine)

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The Explorer in King Kong Escapes
Alternate names Explore[1]
Subtitle(s) Atomic Submarine
(アトミックサブマリン,   Atomikku Sabumarin)[1]
Height 20 meters[1]
Length 60 meters[2]
Width 15 meters[1]
Piloted by Carl Nelson
Attaches to Hovercraft
First appearance King Kong Escapes

The Explorer (エクスプロアー号,   Ekusupuroa-gō) is a fictional United Nations research submarine which appears in the 1967 Toho film King Kong Escapes.


Showa era

King Kong Escapes

While on a research mission in the Java Sea under the command of Carl Nelson, the Explorer was damaged in an underwater rockslide. While the crew repaired its rudder, Nelson went ashore via a Hover Car with Lieutenant Commander Jiro Nomura and Lieutenant Susan Watson on the nearby Mondo Island: the mythical home of the giant ape King Kong. While ashore, they witnessed Kong emerge to defend Susan from the ferocious dinosaur Gorosaurus. The three tried to escape back to the Explorer, but their Hover Car was attacked by a Giant Sea Serpent. Fortunately, Kong ran into the water after defeating Gorosaurus and attacked the serpent. The crew of the Explorer assembled above deck and opened fire on the battling kaiju, but Nelson ordered his men to stand down before he and the others climbed back aboard safely. After defeating the serpent, Kong began shaking and pounding on the Explorer. Susan volunteered to go above deck and calm Kong down. Nelson gave the okay, and Susan faced Kong once more and asked him to stop shaking the ship. Kong grabbed Susan in his hand, but when she jumped out he finally set her back on the sub. Repairs were finally completed and Susan went back below deck while Kong returned to shore. The Explorer then immediately headed for New York City rather than continue its expedition.

After Nelson reported his findings to the United Nations, he commanded a second voyage to Mondo aboard the Explorer to study Kong in his natural habitat. However when the sub arrived the crew found Kong missing with clear signs of a struggle on the island. Nelson concluded his old colleague-turned international terrorist Dr. Who was behind the kidnapping and received an order to head to Tokyo to investigate. En route, Nelson, Nomura, and Susan were ordered to board a plane bound directly for Tokyo. The three exited the Explorer and boarded the plane, but quickly realized the pilots weren't Japanese as they were brought to Dr. Who's base in the Arctic.


Aquatic capabilities

The Explorer is capable of being submerged underwater and traveling great distances.

Hover Car deployment

The Explorer can launch a small Hover Car to allow members of its crew to go ashore.


This is a list of references for Explorer (submarine). These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Godzilla Toho Giant Monster Pictorial Book. Shogakukan. 1 April 2005. p. 190. ISBN 4-09-280052-5.
  2. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. Village Books. 28 September 2012. p. 116. ISBN 4-864-91013-8.


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