Still considered the greatest zoological discovery of the 20th century, the coelacanth, known as “Gombessa” in Mozambique, had supposedly been extinct for 65 million years until a specimen was found in the nets of a fisherman in 1938.
From that day on, it fed the fiery debate between creationists and scientists like never before. It appears as if time has had no effect on it: more than 400 million years old, it is one of three remaining members of an extinct order of fish. It is a calm witness to the remarkable evolution of life, and an immutable ambassador for marine biodiversity.
More than a living fossil, the coelacanth remains the only link connecting fish to terrestrial tetrapods; its fins contain the beginning of reptile and mammal leg bones, and, at the back of its mouth, a vestigial lung. But this two-metre colossus remains rare and inaccessible, dwelling in the dark depths of the ocean, and it took half a century before a submarine was finally able to record the first video of it in the late 1980s.
In a ground-breaking cutting-edge expedition, Laurent Ballesta and his team undertake an immense challenge – diving to over 120 metres in search of the coelacanth, to find, photograph and film the legendary living fossil that no one has ever been able to shoot this way before.
This extraordinary book takes you with Laurent and his intrepid team to the very bottom of the ocean, to an ancient landscape inhabited by mysterious and described species, to a world where every second counts, in search of a meeting with the legendary fish.
With stunning images and a compelling, poetic narrative that immerses you fully in an expedition that has changed the face of ocean exploration, this book is a must have for anybody passionate about the ocean, science, photography and adventure.
About the Author: Laurent Ballesta
The youngest recipient of the Palme D’Or at Antibes, and the only person to win it three times, Laurent Ballesta is a charismatic marine biologist, photographer and explorer, who combines a passion for underwater photography and marine biology with extraordinary technical diving skills. He is the youngest recipient of the Palme D’Or at Antibes, and the only person to win it three times over. With meticulous attention to every detail during his deep diving research expeditions and unique photographs from the depths of the ocean, Ballesta has gained international recognition as one of the most important ocean explorers in the world today. He was awarded the Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award in 2013 in recognition of his achievements.
Catch Laurent Ballesta at this year’s ADEX 2016
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