The Depth Below the Depths: The Aquatic World with Philippe Cousteau

– Like my grandfather
Jacques Cousteau used to say the impossible missions are
the only ones that succeed. And before humankind
had explored the moon my family set out to explore the sea. That’s why they launched the
Continental Shelf Initiative, a series of underwater
research laboratories, the likes of which the
world had never seen. In 1960, my grandfather joined
by my father Philippe Sr. set out to build an underwater
research station for their growing team of oceanauts. They were kind of like you guys. Two years later Conshelf
was dropped at a depth of about 30 feet off
the coast of Marseille. A yellow steel cylinder, 16
feet long and 8 feet in diameter it served as a home and
lab for its two inhabitants for a week. A short time later
Conshelf II was dropped onto a reef in the Red Sea, where
we find ourselves today. Not only was Conshelf
a research platform for marine scientists. – It was also a human
experiment to test the effects of isolation and sun deprivation. – [Blond Man] Six oceanauts
spent a month living at depths of up to 82 feet. Nowadays, Conshelf II,
covered in coral and algae is teeming with lionfish, clownfish, and beautiful anemones. The experiment proved that
explorers can live underwater for protracted periods of time. But that the lack of sunlight
made them a little bit loopy. – [Male Voice] How long
have we been down here? – I’ve lost track. I guess you could say these submarines are better suited for animals than people. – We are people, right?

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