Jewels Of The Deep
Sailing around the world on his iconic ship Calypso, Jacques Cousteau captivated audiences with the unknown ocean and inspired future generations of ocean explorers. His career includes over 120 television documentaries, 50 books and the 300,000 member environmental foundation, the Cousteau Society.
As the pioneer in underwater documentaries, Cousteau won Oscars for “The Silent World,” “The Golden Fish” and “World Without Sun.”
Cousteau is also a crossover star popular culture star who has been name-dropped in even the most unlikely places, including in songs by the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan.
Birth of a legend
The legendary ocean explorer was born Jacques-Yves Cousteau on June 11, 1910 in Saint Andre de Cubzac in southwest France.
At 33 years old, Cousteau and Emile Gagnan invented a device that allowed divers to plunge deeper into the ocean than ever before — the aqua-lung.
On a small beach along the French Riviera, Cousteau donned the first completely autonomous diving gear. He modified a regulator to supply divers with breathing gas on demand and at the proper pressure. This prevented the tanks from quickly running out of air, and was the crowning piece of the first Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA).
The invention allowed Cousteau and his divers the “freedom of flight underwater”.
A legend was born.
Here’s a short summary of Cousteau’s accomplishments
1. Jacques Cousteau pioneered scuba gear.
Cousteau pioneered Scuba Diving gear when in World War II he, along with engineer Emile Gagnan, co-created the Aqua-Lung, a twin-hose underwater breathing apparatus.
With the Aqua-Lung, Cousteau and his crew were able to explore and film parts of the ocean depths that had never been seen before.
2. Cousteau’s underwater documentaries brought a new world to viewers.
Jacques Cousteau’s pioneering underwater documentaries—including the Oscar-winning films The Silent World, The Golden Fish, and World Without Sun—”had a storyline,” said Clark Lee Merriam, a spokesperson for the Cousteau Society.
“It was a deep and complete introduction for the general public to the undersea world.”
3. Cousteau pioneered underwater base camps.
Jacques Cousteau and his team created the first underwater habitat for humans: Conshelf I, which begat Conshelf II and III. The habitats could house working oceanauts for weeks at a time.
4. Cousteau helped restrict commercial whaling.
Cousteau intervened personally with heads of state and helped get the numbers necessary for the [International Whaling] Commission to pass the moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986, and the moratorium remains in place today, though some countries still hunt whales in the name of scientific research.
5. Cousteau helped stop underwater dumping of nuclear waste.
I guess we also have Cousteau to thank for Diver’s Watches.
Still trying to get my hands on an Omega Seamaster, but I also discovered some interesting Cousteau watches, and I’m now torn between the two.
Given the quality of the Cousteau watches I discovered like the Aquatimer Chronograph. and the passion of the man that made them possible, its hardly a surprise that the Cousteau is steadily winning the battle…Lets see where it goes.
Cousteau Aquatimer Chronograph
In the final analysis, we owe a significant part of our initial awareness of what lies beneath our oceans to Cousteau’s underwater adventures, and he also reminds us to be mindful of the need to appreciate and preserve our Ocean Heritage.
You can view Cousteau’s award winning Documentary The Silent World below…The best Marine documentary I’ve ever watched which is all the more surprising since it was made and released in 1956.
A testament to the longevity of true passion.
The Silent World Documentary
Links & Credits