National Geographic : 1958 May
Four Years of Diving to the Bottom of the Sea also has its sightseeing side-there is less spec tacular work that requires delicate instru ments. It is not enough to see; it is important to make measurements in a number of fields (speed and propagation of ultrasounds, tem perature, concentration of oxygen and hydro gen, etc.) and to take samples of water. The work is slow, the ocean is immense, and bathyscaphes are few in number-only two in all the world as yet. But the door is open. A dive is no longer an exceptional feat reserved for a few bold persons; 26 descents have been made by biologists. The F.N.R.S. 3 has proved its safety; it has also proved its robustness by making some distant trips-to Dakar in 1954. to Lisbon in 1956, and even to Paris in 1955. It has proved its usefulness and dedication to science. Is this not perhaps its greatest merit: to have launched a new branch of scientific research, to have finally opened up the world of the abysses to man, haunted for centuries by the mystery of the sea? Other equipment will come, better per fected, more powerful, which will pursue this work and, thanks to the knowledge accumu lated, will enable the incalculable wealth of the marine world to be exploited for the great est benefit of humanity. Shrimp escort a grouper across the rippled bottom 1,600 feet down in the Mediterranean. Scientists believe it to be Epinephelus aeneus, a common food fish. The author found marine life in the Mediterranean far less abundant than in the Atlantic.