No one in history has done more to bring attention to the world’s oceans, the life thriving beneath its surface and for the sport of scuba diving than Jacques Cousteau. For decades this French explorer and filmmaker was a fixture in American households with his TV show The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, where he fascinated people all around the world and inspired many to follow in his tracks. Some generations who took his lead chose undersea exploration as a path scientific discovery and others of us took to undersea for mere recreation. But how much do you know about this legendary explorer? Let’s take a look at 6 things you might not have known about the master of the deep.
- Cousteau’s first ambition was to fly: Cousteau’s first ambition was to be an aviator. However, in 1936 after he was involved in a serious auto accident he used ocean swimming as a form of rehab to recover from his injuries. From there on, the former navy man discovered that the oceans were his real passion.
- Jacques Cousteau led twenty-seven major expeditions: During his life time Cousteau lead numerous expeditions all throughout the world’s oceans including his National Geographic Expedition in the Mediterranean Sea, Mississippi, New Zealand, Nile, Polynesia, Red Sea, Sea of Cortez, Pacific, Cipperton, Caribbean Sea, etc.
- He was the first underwater archeologist: Cousteau was scientist above all else. As such, he invented the field of underwater archeology. Moreover, a device he invented – the Aqualung – came in handy when proceeding down to the abyss and exploring shipwrecks.
- He won numerous Oscars: Among the many hats Cousteau wore, was that of filmmaker. Cousteau won three Oscars for his documentaries World Without Sun (1965), The Golden Fish (1960) and The Silent World (1957).
- Cousteau served in the military: Cousteau was recruited into the French intelligence services shortly before the beginning of Wald War II. Here he earned several medals – including the Légion d’Honneur – for his contributions to the war effort including reporting on Italian troop movements to the Allies.
- He imagined that one day we’d all be able to live underwater: Cousteau was a huge believer in the idea of mankind colonizing the earth oceans. He even envisioned a time when human anatomy might be altered to make this even more possible.
What are your thoughts about Jacques Cousteau? Did he inspire you too? Let us know by dropping us a line. Also visit us here for Maui scuba diving. We are certain that the sights of the ocean will inspire you too. Our scuba packages in Maui are affordable, enlightening and fun.