When you think about it for a moment, it shall not be surprising that the submarine has been invented by a Dutchman - after all the Dutch the masters of water. The first navigable submarine we know of was built in 1620 by the Dutch innovater Cornelis Drebbel, who was working for the English Royal Navy in that time. The submarine was made of wood covered with leather. Between 1620 and 1624, Drebbel built two more models, of which the last one was the largest with a capacity of 16 men and 6 oars on each side. The third model was demonstrated to King James I and thousands of London spectators. Drebbels boat travelled beneath the Thames for three subsequent hours and swam from Westminster to Greenwich and back at 4-5 meters depth.
Drebbel even took the King on a test dive - making James the first monarch to travel underwater!
Ever walked through a Dutch city and noticed that the tall 17th century canal houses are tilting forward? This isn’t because of lacking foundation (which is the reason that the tower in Pisa is leaning, for example). Neither were the architects unqualified. On the contrary: the tilt was designed on purpose!
In a country that is surrounded by so much water as the Netherlands is, for canal houses the safest place to store goods was the attic. But Dutch houses from that time were built very tall and tight, and thus had narrow staircases. The stairs were therefore unusable for the transport of larger items. Another solution was soon found. You might have noticed metal hooks on the top of canal houses: a rope was tied to this hook, and so larger items could be pulled up to the upper floors. The slight forward tilt prevented heavy items from drifting and colliding with the facades.