When it comes to Jacques Cousteau, discoveries associated with the deep ocean automatically come to mind. Cousteau’s revolutionary development of inventions, like the Aqualung and new underwater photography equipment designed to maximize the practical use of light on the seabed, have allowed the French explorer to discover many new species of fish, corals and marine mammals, conduct studies and observations regarding their behavior, and shoot documentaries that have changed the world’s view of underwater life throughout the last 46 years of his life and career. In 1962, Cousteau even developed the first undersea laboratory ever built – the Conshelf 1.
Jacques Cousteau – Discoveries of the Natural World
With the new scientific and engineering breakthroughs achieved by Jacques Cousteau, amazing discoveries were possible beneath the surface of the ocean, which could not have been dreamed of by early explorers. Cousteau was one of the first people to determine dolphins used sonar-like communications. He also captured never before seen footage of swimming nautiluses, an elusive, nocturnal species of underwater creatures. Cousteau was also the first oceanographer to build an underwater “village” – the Conshelf 2 – which was an undersea dwelling place equipped with a submarine garage, stores and advanced equipment responsible for many of the explorer’s deep ocean findings.
Jacques Cousteau’s Major Shipwreck Discoveries and Archaeological Finds
Some of the most important discoveries unlocking the secrets of the ocean are Jacques Cousteau’s archaeological finds. In 1959, the oceanographer’s use of his then new submersible apparatus allowed him the freedom to explore the bottom of the world’s major oceans in unprecedented detail. He was, however, one of the first explorers to retrieve sunken treasure from ancient Roman ships and vessels belonging to other cultures since 1955, when he began filming his documentary, The Sunken World. Cousteau’s drive toward finding sunken ships also led him to the discovery of important WW2 vessels like the Thistlegorm – a British military vessel filled with historically important military equipment that was sunk in 1941.
The Aqualung – Cousteau’s Underwater Breathing Apparatus
Although it isn’t a discovery that was made at the bottom of the ocean, the Aqualung is based on some of Jacques Cousteau’s most significant finds. This device was an early self-contained underwater breathing apparatus – the first one of its time that had regulated airflow, allowing divers to explore deeper than ever before. The aqualung was first developed by Cousteau in 1943 and used for mine clearance. Later – after World War II was over – it became one of the most significant Jacques Cousteau discoveries to be used for undersea exploration and the discovery of sunken treasure.