31 Days Underwater - A Very Wet Lesson

Fabien Cousteau is Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s grandson and also an aquatic adventurer and explorer like his grandfather. Jacques had held the record for the longest time spent underwater which, at the time, was 30 days; Fabien broke that record by 24 hours or one day. His purpose wasn’t to break records but to explore, observe and experiment. These are a few of the lessons extrapolated from Fabien’s little more than two fortnights 65 meters underwater.

Using technology for insight

Fabien mentions using a prototype camera edgertronic, which was designed by two MIT engineers, that captures 20,000 frames per second. This allowed Fabien to observe things that happened at an extreme rate; this would be impossible with the human eye, even with technology that is widely available today.

Not just about exploration

During his time observing the underwater world that he was immersed in, Fabien and his scientific team managed to publish 10 papers regarding observations they made during their submergence. He also mentions the use of Wi-Fi during his underwater expedition that allowed him to communicate and converse with classrooms all around the world.

Testing limits

This is not the first time Fabien has innovated with technology. In the early 2000s, he collaborated with family friend and Hollywood engineer Eddie Paul to create a shark-shaped submarine. Its final form looked like a 14-foot great white shark. The reason Fabien wanted to do this is so he could avoid any external stimulus that would change the behavior of the sharks he was observing.

During his exploration in the stomach of the artificial leviathan, he recorded 170 hours of footage that he made available for scientific and educational use. It also produced a documentary named Shark: Mind of a Demon, which followed the development, testing and use of the submarine.

Image source: Red Bull

Testing limits and pushing technological innovations not only benefit the innovator; it could even be argued that even to dream, innovation is necessary. And although Fabien steps out from the extremely weighted shadow of his grandfather Jacques, he has blazed his own trail.