Watson and the Shark, by John Singleton Copley, 1778.

Watson and the Shark, by John Singleton Copley, 1778. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

The Sea

Volume VI, Number 3 | summer 2013


Water World

From radioactive waste to underwater cables, the world under the sea.



“Were it possible that the sea could be drained of its waters and emptied by some extraordinary accident, what incredible numbers, what infinite variety of uncommon and amazing sea monsters would exhibit themselves to our view, which are now entirely unknown!” wrote Reverend Erich Pontoppidan in his Natural History of Norway, published in 1753. Ninety-five percent of the ocean remains unseen by humankind, and it is believed that up to sixty-five percent of its plant and animal life has not yet been undiscovered.

I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.

—John Paul Jones, 1778


The World in Time

Olivier Zunz

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville. More