|The plaque on the wall of Cousteau's birthplace in Saint-André.|
|The dolphin on the roundabout near the cemetery where Cousteau is buried.|
- As a student at the French naval academy, his class embarked on a one-year world cruise, which he documented, filming everything and everyone.
- Cousteau wanted to become a pilot but was seriously injured in a car crash aged 25. To recover the use of his arm he underwent a rigorous swimming programme in the Mediterranean.
- Aged 27 he married the 18-year-old Simone Melchior who would have a profound influence throughout the rest of his life.
- In 1943 he co-invented an underwater breathing apparatus, the Aqua-lung, for which scuba divers the world remain thankful to this day.
- Cousteau then went on to become the most famous undersea explorer in the world, producing dozens of books and films from the 1950s onwards.
- Cousteau pioneered many techniques in underwater photography while exploring the oceans of the world aboard his vessel Calypso, which now lies in a state of disrepair in Concarneau, Brittany.
- Cousteau’s filmmaking career included three Oscars, many television specials and a bona fide series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.
- It is said that for many years Jacques Cousteau was the world's most famous Frenchman, well ahead of other contenders such as Charles de Gaulle and Marcel Marceau.
- Cousteau dedicated the latter years of his life to educating the public on environmental issues, and working with the Cousteau Foundation, founded in 1973 to further marine research and exploration.
|Invisible Monaco: Cousteau's |
yellow (!) submarine outside
Monaco's oceanographic museum.
|The Cousteau family vault.|
Cousteau’s influence is possibly more tangible still on the global stage, with notable examples including Wes Anderson’s 2004 movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, starring Bill Murray sporting a Cousteauesque red hat, and the music he inspired such as Calypso by John Denver, Jean-Michel Jarre's scary Waiting for Cousteau and, a-hem, Jacques Cousteau by Belgium’s Plastic Bertrand. This is how it went:
- Find them on the Invisible Bordeaux map:
- Jacques Cousteau's birthplace, grave and dolphin on roundabout sculpture, Saint-André de Cubzac
- Cousteau Foundation website: http://fr.cousteau.org/
- Source of information about early childhood: http://knopfdoubleday.com/book/109161/jacques-cousteau/