Getting to Know Philippe Diolé, a Great Underwater Explorer

Here's another profile feature that focuses on one of the scuba diving greats, Philippe Diolé. We have already featured him before but who's to say we had enough of him?

A lot of people don't know that Jacques Cousteau had help in writing some of his books but, in fact, he did. One of the people who assisted him was Philippe Diolé.

Diolé was a naturalist and scientific observer who wrote many books about his favorite subjects: underwater landscapes and marine life. He was born in Val-de-Marne in France, and he obtained a law degree in 1928. However, he didn't become known for his career as a lawyer but rather for his passion for the seas and his ability to help readers visualize and appreciate the stunning beauty of the ocean and everything in it.

Diolé co-authored eight books in total with Cousteau. These include seven of the eight books under the The Undersea Discoveries of Jacques-Yves Cousteau collection (only The Shark: Splendid Savage of the Sea was not co-authored by Diolé). He also worked on The Whale with Cousteau; the book was published posthumously in 1987, ten years after Diolé's death.

Aside from working with Cousteau, Diolé wrote numerous books on his own. One of his bestselling works is L'Aventure sous-marine (English translation: The Undersea Adventure ), which provides a brief history of diving and moves on to talk about several interesting topics like octopus training, seaweed cultivation, and marine archeology. Diolé also wrote L'Exploration sous-marine (titled Underwater Exploration: A History in the English publication). In this book, he gives a comprehensive account of the history of scuba diving, starting from the ancient Creto-Mycenian civilization up to the time of World War II (when researchers explored the depths of the seas using crude versions of modern scuba diving equipment).

Diolé may not be have been in the frontlines of  underwater exploration, but his written works have contributed a lot in terms of documenting the evolution of scuba diving and promoting respect and appreciation for the sea.


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