Book 00067: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
by Jules Verne
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
- 1870 by Hetzel
- Captain Nemo's name is a subtle allusion to Homer's Odyssey, a Greek epic poem.
- The title refers to the distance traveled under the sea, not to the depth, as 20,000 leagues is over 12 times the radius of the earth.
- Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury, "Captain Maury" in Verne's book, a real-life oceanographer who explored the winds, seas, currents, and collected samples of the bottom of the seas and charted all of these things, is mentioned a few times in this work by Jules Verne.
After I read Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, I can't stop myself but crave for more... So I rushed to my favorite bookstore and did everything I can to find Verne's other novels. Rewardingly, I was able to get a copy of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The same with Around the World, Under the Sea is a power-pack of a book. The scientific side whet my appetite for reading as I am a science buff also. The wondrous scenes given to us by Verne were incomparable, as who would think of creating such a tale not only filled by adventurous plot but also of scientific predictions...
Read an excerpt
Captain Anderson called an immediate halt, and one of his sailors dived down to assess the damage. Within moments they had located a hole two meters in width on the steamer's underside. Such a leak could not be patched, and with its paddle wheels half swamped, the Scotia had no choice but to continue its voyage. By then it lay 300 miles from Cape Clear, and after three days of delay that filled Liverpool with acute anxiety, it entered the company docks.
The engineers then proceeded to inspect the Scotia, which had been put in dry dock. They couldn't believe their eyes. Two and a half meters below its waterline, there gaped a symmetrical gash in the shape of an isosceles triangle. This breach in the sheet iron was so perfectly formed, no punch could have done a cleaner job of it. Consequently, it must have been produced by a perforating tool of uncommon toughness—plus, after being launched with prodigious power and then piercing four centimeters of sheet iron, this tool had needed to withdraw itself by a backward motion truly inexplicable.
This was the last straw, and it resulted in arousing public passions all over again. Indeed, from this moment on, any maritime casualty without an established cause was charged to the monster's account.