Méliès filmed Divers at Work on the Wreck of the Maine (aka Visite sous-marine du Maine) thru a fish tank containing live fish to create an effect of the action taking place underwater.
Early in 1898, an explosion sunk the American battleship “The Maine”, which was anchored in Havana harbor, killing 252 sailors. This ultimately led to the brief Spanish-American war. In the film, divers examine the wreck and find the body of a drowned sailor. They haul the corpse up via a rope.