Aus den Tiefen des Weltmeeres: Schilderungen von der Deutschen Tieffee-Expedition

(From the Depths of the World Sea: Descriptions of the German Deep Sea Expedition)

The German Deep Sea Expedition, led by Carl Chun, a professor at the University of Leipzig, explored the zoological, chemical, and physical aspects of the Atlantic, Indian, and Great Southern oceans from 1898-1899. This work is a result of that expedition.

This excerpt includes the title page, pages 205-215, an image of an iceberg, and the image caption from Aus den Tiefen des Weltmeeres.

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This beautiful book chronicles the story of the German Valdivia expedition to the South Atlantic, Indian, and Great Southern oceans from 1898-1899. This was the last of the great 19th century oceanographic cruises. The German government funded the expedition, after Carl Chun, a professor at the University of Leipzig, applied to the German Association of Natural Scientists for sponsorship. The Valdivia was a steamship chartered from the Hamburg-American Company and was fitted with biological and chemical laboratories, large and handsome cabins, a first-class scientific library, and storage space for marine specimens collected during the cruise.

Mangrove and Raffi palms in the Congo

Mangrove and raffia palms in the Congo. Nineteenth century explorers, in addition to cataloging and describing the flora and fauna of the ocean realms, also visited and chronicled the scenery, inhabitants, and culture of inland areas. (pl. facing p. 128)

The Valdivia spent almost four weeks in the Antarctic ice in November and December of 1898 between Bouvet Island and Enderby Land. The crew saw about 180 icebergs and sketched and photographed many of them. Some icebergs were craggy and weather-beaten, possibly old icebergs that had been exposed to wind and sea. Some were of regular, tabular appearance, suggesting they had recently broken off. Most towered 100 to 180 feet above the water and plunged 1,200 to 1,500 feet below the surface. The longest iceberg observed was between three and four miles long.

Written in German gothic script, the book's illustrations and photographs are stunning and communicate the excitement of early ocean exploration. Wonderful graphics adorn the beginning of each chapter, with caricatures and cartoons of crew and officer alike throughout the volume. All this, plus numerous illustrations of shipboard operations, make Aus den Tiefen des Weltmeeres a "must view" for anyone interested in oceanography, even for those who can't read German!

  • Author: Carl Chun (1852-1914)
  • Date Published: 1903
  • Publisher: Gustav Fischer
  • Location: Germany
  • Length: 592 pages


View Complete Rare Book

Aus den Tiefen des Weltmeeres: Schilderungen von der Deutschen Tiefsee-expedition

Sections 1- XIV, pp. 1-316 (pdf, 870 MB)
Sections XV- 317-592 plus map at end (pdf, 898 MB)

Related Web Sites

Carl Chun Archive Collection

NOAA Central Library