Study Guide

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Part 1 Chapter 16

By Jules Verne

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Part 1 Chapter 16

An Excursion over the Plains

  • Nemo and our boys enter the room. A dozen "frogmen's suits" hang on the wall.
  • Ned is freaked out; he doesn't want to wear such a strange-looking contraption. He backs out.
  • Conseil, ever loyal, follows his master.
  • A couple of sailors help Aronnax and Conseil suit up. The outfits, complete with big lead boots, are surprisingly comfy.
  • Nemo hands out the guns, which are simple to use. Aronnax is impressed.
  • Now they put on their helmets—big round copper things—and get ready to go.
  • The hunters are then carried into a special room. They can't walk anywhere with those unconscionably heavy boots on.
  • The room fills with water, then a second door opens in the side of the sub.
  • They walk outside onto the ocean floor.
  • So Aronnax, Conseil, Nemo, and another sailor from the Nautilus embark on their hunting expedition.
  • Underwater, the suits no longer feel so weighty; the buoyant water makes moving a lot easier.
  • The four spend fifteen minutes walking over the sandy sea bottom, and soon come upon a landscape full of rocks and shells and all sorts of pretty things.
  • Aronnax is overwhelmed by the beauty. But he can't talk to anyone about it, on account of his helmet. So he talks to himself instead.
  • Overhead, he can see a bunch of jellyfish and Portuguese men-of-war (really large, deadly jellyfish) glistening in the sunlight.
  • They pass through a "muddy" area and a field of seaweed. Green marine plants (this phrase has a nice ring to it, no?) form a canopy overhead.
  • About an hour and a half into the journey, Nemo points at a shadowy area in the distance.
  • They've reached the "forests" of Crespo Island.

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