UK & World News

  • 2 June 2014, 6:09

Cousteau's Grandson Begins Month Underwater

The grandson of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau has begun an attempt to break his world record by spending 31 days beneath the sea.

Oceanographer Fabien Cousteau and a team of scientists and filmmakers are staying on the world's only underwater laboratory Aquarius, 20 metres below the surface.

The lab measures just 14 metres in length and three metres in width, sitting near a coral reef five miles off the coast of Florida.

Cousteau is hoping to beat the record set by his grandfather who spent 30 days underwater in the Red Sea 50 years ago, filming the experience for the Oscar-winning documentary World Without Sun.

"In a sense Mission 31 is based on the first ever exploits of my grandfather's with Conshelf II of living underwater for a full month," he said.

"Aquarius is very unique in that it's the only undersea marine laboratory - with that it is not only a legacy, and not only the best kept secret in the oceans, but it also gives us a unique platform from which to live and explore this final frontier on our planet."

The researchers will use their time in the ocean to carry out experiments, examine wildlife and explore the potential effects of climate change.

In the cramped conditions the crew of Mission 31 will enjoy few creature comforts during their stay.

Cousteau joked: "Unfortunately for me as a French person, the food will also be simulated: freeze-dried, astronaut type of food, canned foods, things like that.

"So it's a horror show for me, but we'll have to suck it up for 31 days."

The entire project will be streamed live on the internet.

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