Jacques Cousteau
Jacques Cousteau Screenshot3
Airdate December 21, 2016
Curriculum Arts & Music
Social Studies

Jacques Cousteau launched in BrainPOP Social Studies December 21, 2016. Other topics are in Science and Arts & Music.

Summary Edit

Moby is scuba diving in an aquarium, and Tim wonders what he is doing, so he taps the glass. A security guard gets his attention that there is a rule against breaking glass.

Moby walks toward Tim with a soaking wet letter, asking about Jacques Cousteau.

Throughout the whole video, Tim tries to pronounce French words, but has trouble doing so.

At the end of the video, Moby gives Tim a red Jacques Cousteau-esque cap. Tim tries once again to say Jacques Cousteau's catchprase, but has trouble once again.


Transcript and QuizEdit


In Practice Edit


Interested in seeing more of the underwater world? Try scuba diving!

Scuba divers carry their own source of air, stored in a tank, which they inhale through a mouthpiece. This allows them to travel far below the waves to explore the many wonders of the sea. Even beginners can hit depths of 100 feet. Professionals with special training can go much deeper—the world record is more than 1,000 feet!

Scuba was invented during World War II. Its name is an acronym that stands for "self-contained underwater breathing apparatus." The original devices were used by U.S. frogmen, soldiers trained as combat divers. These closed-circuit designs, or rebreathers, would recycle the same air. Exhaled air would be replenished with oxygen before going back to the mouthpiece. Since all the air was kept in the system, these devices produced no bubbles.

Around the same time, an open-circuit design was being developed by two Frenchmen: engineer Emile Gagnan and diving pioneer Jacques Cousteau. Their invention, the aqua-lung, didn’t reuse exhaled air, but rather allowed divers to breathe out directly into the surrounding water. It was a simpler set-up that helped make scuba safer and more affordable. Thanks to Gagnan and Cousteau, there are now nearly 3 million certified scuba divers worldwide. Surprisingly, the breathing systems they rely on are virtually unchanged from the original 1943 aqua-lung.

If you're ready to plunge into the deep, look into scuba training classes. You can usually learn enough in a day to head out on a dive with an experienced guide. In most cases, you can get your license to dive in less than a week!

Trivia Edit

  • Oceans cover around 70 percent of the globe and—thanks to their incredible depths—contain close to 99 percent of the world's living space.* Not surprisingly, the oceans are also home to 80 percent of all life on Earth.**
  • The average depth of the ocean is just over 12,000 feet. Light can’t penetrate farther than 200 feet, so most of the planet is shrouded in darkness!***
  • The lowest point on Earth is underwater. Known as Challenger Deep, this Pacific Ocean trench reaches a depth of 36,200 feet. That’s more than five times the depth of the Grand Canyon, and a mile and a half deeper than the height of Mount Everest!***
  • Less than 5 percent of our planet's underwater territory has been explored. Even our maps of Mars are more detailed than our maps of the seafloor!***
  • The blue whale (pictured) is the largest animal to have ever lived, in water or on land. Bigger than any known dinosaur, a blue whale can reach 110 feet long and weigh nearly 400,000 pounds.**
  • The sailfish is the planet's swiftest fish. It can swim at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. That’s faster than a cheetah can run!**
  • At least 500 kinds of fish are capable of producing visible electricity. This includes the electric eel, which can generate up to 650 volts of energy.
  • Bioluminescence is light produced by living plants and animals. The glow they emit is the result of chemical reactions. The most common bioluminescent organisms found in seawater are plankton, which swirl into glimmering trails as ships pass through them.***

*Source: NASA.
**Source: National Geographic.
***Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Real Life Edit


Climate change is an undeniable threat to humanity and the survival of our planet. Its impact is already being felt in our oceans, which absorb 90 percent of the heat added to our warming globe. Rising water temperatures are rapidly destroying ecosystems, putting at risk millions of species and some of the most beautiful sites on Earth. The worst mass coral bleaching event in history is now in progress. According to a 2016 survey of the site, it's happening in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Warmer water triggers corals to expel the colorful algae that live in their tissue. The coral is then "bleached": It turns completely white, in stark contrast to its usual rainbow of hues. The loss of algae also strips the hosts of their only food supply.

93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef is now bleached! Unless sea temperatures drop and the algae return, the starving corals may soon die. Researchers in Australia have reported that half of the depleted corals are already beyond saving. While reefs are only a tiny part of our underwater terrain, they support 25 percent of all oceanic life. These marine species help sustain the diets and livelihoods of half a billion people.

The acidity of oceans, like their temperature, is also rising. This increase is largely due to trapped greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide, finding their way into the ocean. More acidic seawater is taking a terrible toll on porites, a common type of coral. Like shellfish, porites rely on a process called calcification: They extract calcium carbonate from seawater and use it to build a protective shell. Scientists have found that calcification rates in porites have slowed by 21 percent over the past two decades. This likely means that lobsters, crabs, and clams are also facing similar drop-offs, which could destabilize food chains around the world.

Unfortunately, the domino effects of global warming seem to be getting worse. If humans continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, there will be no way to reverse the damage.

Did You Know Edit


Did you know that the final resting spot of the Titanic remained a mystery for 70 years? For decades after the ship's 1912 sinking, teams of scientists and scavengers searched for it, only to return empty-handed.

Things changed when American oceanographer Robert Ballard joined the hunt. He helped develop imaging technology that let him conduct more sophisticated underwater investigations. Funded largely by the U.S. Navy, Dr. Ballard’s 1985 expedition set out to discover history’s most famous shipwreck. He had always been fascinated by the Titanic,calling it the "Mount Everest of my world."

The Navy, on the other hand, had its own motives for supporting Ballard's work. Years earlier, at the height of the Cold War, two U.S. nuclear submarines had disappeared. Naval intelligence hoped Ballard’s innovative equipment could finally track them down. The submarines were eventually found, giving Ballard some practice runs for his primary mission. This initial experience taught him how to find sunken craft by following their debris trails.

Ballard had also designed an unmanned submersible that he named Argo. Using a two-mile cable hooked up to monitors, Argo could transmit incredibly clear images of the ocean floor all the way up to the surface. It also carried cameras pointed in almost every direction. Meanwhile, powerful lamps drenched the ocean floor in light.

On the morning of September 1, 1985, the Argo's screens lit up with images of a giant boiler, half-buried in the sand. Ballard had found his Everest. He returned to the site a year later to document the wreckage using robotic subs. They photographed the hull, the liner's grand staircase, and even the majestic chandeliers still suspended in the ship's eerily silent halls.

Ballard refused to remove anything from the Titanic, claiming that would make him no better than a grave-robber. Those who followed him were not as respectful. Over the years, scavengers have stripped massive amounts of material from the sunken ship. Its iconic whistle even toured the world as part of a 1999 traveling exhibition!

The Modern World Edit


In 2015, nearly 200 world leaders met at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. The summit’s overarching goal was to hammer out a binding international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. All eyes were on the United States and China, top polluters as well as global superpowers. People hoped that if these two nations got on board, others would quickly follow suit.

After two weeks of negotiations, the representatives finalized the Paris Agreement. The transnational pact set a goal to cap global temperature at 3.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels, when the widespread use of fossil fuels began. Meeting this target will require achieving carbon neutrality within the next 50 years. In other words, the amount of carbon produced must be matched by a reduction of that same amount. Planting trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, is one way to achieve such reductions.

Over 100 nations, including the United States and China, have ratified, or legally approved, the agreement. By Earth Day in 2017, all participating countries must set their target date for achieving carbon neutrality. However, no authority is set up to enforce adherence to these dates. And climate change experts are concerned that certain nations—the U.S. in particular—may renegotiate or cancel its commitment to the pact.

So, will the Paris Agreement succeed as a turning point in how the world contends with the threats posed by climate change? Or will it get ignored in the wake of changing political tides? Only time will tell.

FYI ComicEdit

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