Jacques Cousteau, "The world is not ready for what's down there"

"The world is not ready for what's down there," the filmmaker and former French naval officer Jacques-Yves Cousteau once said, somewhere, the explorer, ecologist, filmmaker and after a dive.

The way this phrase is quoted on various online forums and other sources illustrates very well how urban legends spread: everyone has heard of this, but no one knows where it comes from and how it sounded the original version. The scenarios include a prehistoric animal embroidered on the monster model in Loch Ness or even Hell. We tried to find out how the famous quote was born and I asked the Cousteau Society for clarification.

In the 1970s, a group of researchers looking for oil in Siberia came to hell, which they could prove through a record that terrified human shouting sounded. This incredible story has long circulated through the e-mail, writes the urbanlegends.hu site, and at the end of it appeared a paragraph stating that at a time when Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau's team sank in the Caribbean caves, a crew member was shocked and told that he had heard clear-cut screaming out of the caves. The paragraph emphasizes that "this happened in the place where Cousteau pronounced the famous phrase: 'The world is not prepared for what is there in the depths.'"

This version of the story places the story in the Caribbean, but the rest of the story is quite unclear. The phrase is attributed to Cousteau, but, according to the above story, it is not him who sank. And the idea of ​​finding Hell itself does not offer too much credibility to this legend.

So I started looking for references on several forums and I noticed that this phrase often appears in connection with discussions about cryptozoology or the "mysteries of the world." A French cryptozoology forum addresses the story in a very common version on the internet: Jacques Cousteau sank in the waters near Djibouti (or Ghoubet lake in Djibouti), where he was trying to lure a shark with the body of a cam sitting in a cage , when the cage was crushed by a strange animal.

Also on this forum it can be read that, according to unspecified sources, Cousteau would have made a video recording with this mysterious animal, but the image would have gone quite unclear and the French explorer would have refused to publish it, a sign that the world does not was ready for this discovery. The French magazine Rhédae writes that the animal would have been a giant archaic shark called Carcharodon Megalodon. In the aforementioned forum we mention also calves, sepia or other creatures belonging to the class of cephalopods.

The initiator of a discussion in the English-language forum cryptozoology.com asks the question: "I read (but I do not know where) that when Cousteau's team researched Tahoe Lake in the '70s it was rumored to have seen something strange. Does anyone know more about this? " And other sources, such as the Unknown Explorers website, place the story in Lake Tahoe, located on the border of California and Nevada.

And in this version, the famous explorer would have seen something frightening in the waters of the lake, something that shocked him so much that he uttered the famous phrase. "And the worst situation," continues the article on the Unknown Explorers, "Cousteau has never published any record or information about what might be the most important and unbelievable breakthrough in the history of lakes research."

The legends surrounding Lake Tahoe claim that the French explorer would have seen a prehistoric animal named Tessie and dangling on the model of the Loch Ness monster that might have been a "late" dinosaur or a huge water snake. Those who do not believe in the presence of prehistoric animals in today's waters are convinced that Jacques Cousteau would have seen perfectly preserved human corpses in the American lake. According to an American blog, a Cousteau's relative would have sunk in the lake's waters and suddenly an Indian corpse dressed in leather clothes and in perfect condition for preservation would appear in front of him. Legend also says that the breakdown of human corpses was hampered by the lack of bacteria and gases that could not be formed at the temperatures in Lake Tahoe.

Guidance through the various versions of the legend is therefore rather difficult, and not everyone has a clear denial. According to Bloomberg, last year, Clark Lee Merriam, a representative of the Cousteau Society, said their teams had never engaged in research in Lake Tahoe, but he knows that the story of the famous phrase is sprinkled with several lacquer names worldwide. A diving team descended into the depths of Lake Tahoe in May 2009, but its members did not have any strange experience.

Even the fact that the famous phrase was ever spoken is not proven. The most important biographies about Cousteau do not mention it, nor is it found on the Wikiquote page dedicated to the researcher. In the comments generated by a post on urbanlegends.hu it is said that the phrase would have been invented by István Nemere, a Hungarian sci-fi writer. He would have inserted a book in a book stating that Cousteau had found at the bottom of Lake Titicaca the remains of a missing culture (probably Atlantis), a discovery that can not yet be shared with the world.

Razvan Popescu, a biologist and coordinator of the Oceanic Club Association in Constanta, one of the TOTB heroes, knows that the French explorer really was the one who pronounced the famous phrase, in two moments of his life, information he says he heard, from a former member of the Cousteau Society, located in France. "The first time happened when, 25 years after the first dives with the self-diving diver" Epave "and" At 18 meters deep ", [Cousteau] returned to those places and the team remained amazed by the fact that the hunt the submarine had decimated all large fish populations, "he says. "Curiously, Cousteau would have spoken this phrase, living the frustration of having given people the vehicle to escape the living treasures of the sea, and people proved to be unworthy of them."

"The second time happened when Jacques-Yves Cousteau discovered the enormous continuity of Amazon waters in the Atlantic," the biologist continued. According to him, the French explorer has noticed that the Amazon spill area in the Atlantic occupies a large area, where the fresh waters of the river do not mix with the salty ocean, "like a paradise in the Qur'an that speaks of non-mixing of waters salted with sweet ones ". Cousteau would then utter the phrase in a spiritual register at a time when he was cochet with the idea of ​​converting to Islam, influenced by an operator. "The idea was that the sea hides so many mysteries that technology and culture do not allow humanity to know what is there," says Razvan Popescu. "Cousteau knows little real things."

Finally, I contacted the Cousteau Overseas Society to ask for more clarifications. The communications officer, Clark Lee Merriam, who denied Bloomberg research from Lake Tahoe, informed us that over the years the company has received numerous requests for the famous quote. "There is no evidence in our records that Captain Cousteau would have made such a remark about Tahoe Lake, the Bermuda Triangle, the Loch Ness Monster, or any other Candidates that appear from time to time," he writes this. "Honestly, what the world is not apparently ready to face are the necessary decisions for the conservation of the planetary ocean." In these circumstances, if Jacques Cousteau really uttered the phrase generating urban legends, the scenario presented by Razvan Popescu seems the most plausible.

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