20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
This exhibit is a tribute to Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A milestone in literature, it helped bring the concept of diving into the public imagination in 1870.
Verne was inspired by a number of real life technologies to write his novel, including a submarine and early SCUBA equipment he saw on display at the World Fair. A working model of this early SCUBA is on display, along with a functional replica of Captain Nemo's helmet from the 1954 Disney film.
Verne was also aboard the ship used to lay the very first Trans-Atlantic cable, which allowed for telegram communication between Europe and North America. Previously, any message would need to cross the Atlantic on a ship. A piece of the cable lies above Captain Nemo's helmet.
“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” is a classic science fiction novel written by Jules Verne and first published in 1869. It was actually first written in French and titled “Vingt Mille Lieues Sous Les Mers” and we have an exhibit for this masterpiece here at the History of Diving Museum!
It was one of the first science fiction novels filled with all kinds of exciting undersea life. If you’re into marine science then you’ve probably already read it. If you haven’t read it yet you should – because it’s amazing! Here at the History of Diving Museum, we love this novel and sell a lot of them in our gift shop. Here are our top ten cool things about the book:
- The Nautilus: The Nautilus is Captain Nemo’s submarine and is an advanced submarine designed and commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo. It’s a technological marvel that was far ahead of its time, featuring advanced amenities and capabilities.
- Underwater Adventures: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” takes you on a fascinating journey below the surface, exploring the wonders of the ocean’s depths. Verne’s vivid descriptions of underwater landscapes and marine life were groundbreaking for its time and will capture your imagination.
- Diverse Marine Life: Verne’s incredibly detailed descriptions of the various sea creatures encountered by the characters add a sense of wonder and excitement to the story. We find the encounters with giant squids and other fantastical creatures are particularly memorable.
- Nemo’s Mysterious Past: Captain Nemo’s character adds an element of mystery to the story. His background and motivations are gradually revealed, keeping you intrigued throughout the novel.
- Scientific Accuracy: Verne’s meticulous research and attention to scientific detail, considering the time the novel was written (1870), contribute to the authenticity of the story. Many of the technologies and marine life described in the book were, and still are remarkably accurate for its time.
- Adventure and Exploration: The novel is a thrilling adventure filled with the kind of exploration and discovery that kids and ocean lovers dream about! As the characters travel across the world’s oceans, you are treated to a sense of wonder and excitement.
- Social Commentary: Verne uses the story to explore themes such as the consequences of unchecked technological progress, the impact of imperialism, and the potential for misuse of scientific knowledge. This adds depth to the narrative and is more true today than ever before.
- Island of Crespo: The island of Crespo, where the Nautilus stops for replenishments, is an interesting part of the story. It provides a break from the underwater scenes and adds a different dimension to the narrative. Like all diver’s know – eventually you need to come to the surface!
- Nautical Terminology: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” introduces you to various nautical terms and concepts, providing not only an exciting aspect to the story, but an educational one as well. Verne’s attention to detail in describing the workings of the Nautilus and the different navigation techniques adds to the power of this novel.
- Legacy and Influence: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” has had a profound impact on popular culture. It has inspired numerous adaptations, including movies, TV shows, and other works of fiction. It also inspired the History of Diving Museum to have a “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” display complete with a giant squid tentacle!
The legacy of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Our 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea display has an authentic hard helmet, a replica model of the Nautilus and other cool artifacts. We even have a couple of different “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” books for sale in our gift shop. So dive into our museum and experience the excitement of exploration and diving history!
The History of Diving Museum Is open 7 day a week from 10am – 5pm and there are only 3 days a year we are not open – Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day. So if you’re in the Florida Keys you’ll most likely drive by us so make sure you dive in and check out our 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit!