Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

August 30, 2010

This is a diving suit prototype from 1888. It’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while, and I intend to just stare at it. You can, too, if you want. In fact, you can see it full-size here.

The suit was built by the Carmagnolle brothers of Marseilles, France. But it wasn’t the first; an Englishman built an early diving suit in 1715. The history of aquatic exploration is often overlooked in favour of the space race, but if you take the time to look into it, you’ll find all kinds of daring adventure and risk. From the first bathyscaphs to the sinking of the Confederate submarine Hunley during the Civil War, man has been seeking out new life (and new civilizations, we kind of hope) below the Earth’s oceans for a lot longer than we’ve been trying to get beyond the moon.

In fiction, we’ve seen movies like The Abyss and Leviathan and Deep Rising, one of which is really good and one of which stars Greg Evigan, and TV’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Seaquest DSV, one of which was a classic and one of which had not one, but two, Deluise brothers. And we can’t forget the glory days of early science fiction, like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Arthur C. Clarke’s Dolphin Island, and Roy Meyers’ Dolphin Boy series (I have read only the second one, Daughters of the Dolphin) and Aquaman and Namor and Finding Nemo

The fact is, there are many great stories to be told about the world under the water. And to understand that, you just have to look at that diving suit and consider the work, and risk, it took to build it — and to test it.



  1. And leave us not forget… The man From Atlantis!

  2. You should also check out the complete run of Michael Turner’s Fathom series.

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