Thursday, October 14, 2010

On Verne and Cuttlefishes

Ever since my mom bought me classic books that were "summarized" for kids, I've always admired the mind of Jules Verne. And H.G. Wells. But this is about Jules Verne, so Wells can wait.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has been one of my favorite books as a child. And I got about to reading (and finishing) the real book, or e-book if you will.

Do I still like it as much as I did when I was a child? Definitely.

But I never thought that it had so much math.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea probably isn't what we'd really call sci-fi these days since what Verne has written in that book more or less exists today. Maybe except for suits that can withstand the water pressure, but still. Submarines? Battle tactics in the water? Awesome shiz.

And I've always wondered... If it really was possible that there were really, really large cuttlefishes. Or octopi. (I love saying that word.) Squids, I can imagine. But a giant cuttlefish (was about to write "cattlefish" like this one Thai food packaging that I saw before) that can easily carry, suffocate and crush a full-grown man with one tentacle?

Mutants, I say.

Or maybe, there really were giant, giant cuttlefishes. Maybe there still are.

Nobody has really ventured deep enough to discover what's lurking in all those dark and cold waters. Heck, for all we know, the Itchyosaurus still lives, feeding on all those lanternfishes and --ugh-- lampreys... Scary, scary lampreys.

I've always been afraid of waters where I can't see my feet anymore. Why? Because as a child, I've always thought that a large alien with mechanical tentacles is lurking underwater...and the moment it sees my feet, it will drag me down and I will drown. only occurs to me now that maybe the alien doesn't really want me with all that water in my lungs. That it probably has some kind of mechanism or technology that will help me breathe underwater until it brings me to its lair deep in the crevices of the ocean, far away from human eyes.

Or outer space.


I find Captain Nemo amazing though. I like the guy. He's honorable. Only, I wonder how he amassed so much money to build the Nautilus. Wish I had that money. Or Nautilus for that matter...

Except that I can't go as deep as they did because the water pressure's gonna crush the vessel like some scrap metal. I read that the Nautilus wouldn't be able to withstand that many "atmospheres" if it were in the RL setting.

I mentioned earlier that there was quite a bit of math in the book. They kept mentioning that "atmospheres" and during the first few parts of the book, I thought they were referring to the pressure of the actual atmosphere - as in the layer of gas that surrounds Earth. I just did a bit of googling that I found out that atmosphere (atm) is a unit of measurement for pressure. It's used by scuba divers today or something.

I always learn something new everyday. Even in math...though I can't say I fully grasp the computations and stuff haha.

I'll be reading The Mysterious Island next. It's said to tell the history of Captain Nemo or something.

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