Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Twenty thousand leagues under the seas Jules Verne

My blood curdled when I saw enormous antennse blocking my road, or some frightful claw closing with a noise in the shadow of some cavity. Millions of luminous spots shone brightly in the midst of the darkness. They were the eyes of giant crustacea crouched in their holes; giant lobsters setting themselves up like halberdiers, and moving their claws with the clicking sound of pincers; titanic crabs, pointed like a gun on its carriage; and frightful-looking poulps, interweaving their tentacles like a living nest of serpents.

We had now arrived on the first platform, where other surprises awaited me. Before us lay some picturesque ruins, which betrayed the hand of man, and not that of the Creator. There were vast heaps of stone, amongst which might be traced the vague and shadow}' forms of castles and temples, clothed with a world of blossoming zoophytes, and over which, instead of ivy, sea-weed and fucus threw a thick vegetable mantle. But what was this portion of the globe which had been swallowed by cataclysms? Who had placed those rocks and stones like cromlechs of prehistoric times? Where was I? Whither had Captain Nemo's fancy hurried me?

I would fain have asked him; not being able to, I stopped him, — I seized his arm. But shaking his head, and pointing to the highest point of the mountain, he seemed to say, —

"Come, come along; come higher!"

I followed, and in a few minutes I had climbed to the top, which for a circle of ten yards commanded the whole mass of rock.
Twenty thousand leagues under the seasTitle Twenty thousand leagues under the seas, or The marvellous and exciting adventures of Pierre Aronnax, Conseil his servant, and Ned Land, a Canadian harpooner: Translated from the French. Author Jules Verne.

Illustrated by: Édouard Riou (December 2, 1833 Saint-Servan, Ille-et-Vilaine – January 27, 1900 Paris) and Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville (May 31, 1835 – May 18, 1885). Publisher: G.M. Smith & co., 1875. Original from: Harvard University. Digitized: Jan 23, 2008.

This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF. Works published before 1923, in this case 1875, are now in the public domain.
This image is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris), in this case Édouard Riou (December 2, 1833 Saint-Servan, Ille-et-Vilaine – January 27, 1900 Paris) and Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville (May 31, 1835 – May 18, 1885) , and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from the last day of that year.
Jules VerneCartoon Jules Verne on the sea floor with fantastic sea creatures. Legend : "Gathering from the best sources authentic information about underwater world". Cover of "L'Algerie" Magazine, 15 June 1884. Artist: J. Chape.

This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF. Works published before 1923, in this case 1884, are now in the public domain.


I looked down the side we had just climbed. The mountain did not rise more than seven or eight hundred feet above the level of the plain; but on the opposite side it commanded from twice that height the depths of this part of the Atlantic. My eyes ranged far over a large space lit by a violent fulguration. In fact, the mountain was a volcano.

At fifty feet above the peak, in the midst of a rain of stones and scorise, a large crater was vomiting forth torrents of lava which fell in a cascade of fire into the bosom of the liquid mass. Thus situated, this volcano lit the lower plain like an immense torch, even to the extreme limits of the horizon. I said that the submarine crater threw up lava, but no flames. Flames require the oxygen of the air to feed upon, and cannot be developed under water; but streams of lava, having in themselves the principles of their incandescence, can attain a white heat, fight vigorously - against the liquid element, and turn it to vapor by contact.

Rapid currents bearing all these gases in diffusion, and torrents of lava, slid to the bottom of the mountain like an eruption of Vesuvius on another Jerra del Greco.

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