Jules Verne's 183rd Birthday

More Doodles

Feb 8, 2011

It wasn’t very difficult for something to spark my imagination when I was a child—whether it was a pile of leaves or a couch of stackable cushions, just about anything could jump-start my creativity. My first encounter with Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, however, sent my imagination into hyper drive.

I first found the novel while browsing through a random aisle in my local library. The cover was dark, murky and a little worn—but it was the most spectacular thing I’d ever seen. A pair of old-fashioned divers drag their feet over the ocean floor, watching a school of fish drift by. They don’t seem to notice the twisting silhouette of a monster inching toward them.

The cover alone pulled me in, but I didn’t want to spoil all of the possible story lines by actually reading the book. Looking back, I realize that what fascinated me most was the unknown: a creative spark and the imaginative exploration that followed. Since then, I’ve become more familiar with his work and still believe that exploration is the essence of Verne’s novels. His stories pull the readers into a world filled with infinite potential—be it in the clouds, on land or under the sea.

Today’s doodle, celebrating Verne’s 183rd birthday, tries to capture that sense of adventure and exploration. Using CSS3 (and with help from our resident tech wizards Marcin Wichary and Kris Hom), the doodle enables anyone to navigate the Nautilus (nearly) 20,000 leagues with the simple pull of a lever. And for those using devices with built-in accelerometers and the latest versions of Google Chrome or Firefox, it’s even simpler—just tilt your device in the direction you want to explore and the Nautilus will follow.

So voyage below (and above) the waves to see what you can discover... just make sure to keep an eye out for the giant squid.

Update Feb 9, 8:44 AM: You can now explore the ocean from our Jules Verne doodle in full view and HD.

posted by Jennifer Hom

Location: Global

Tags: Shark, Literature, starfish, Narwhale, Fish, Coral Reef, lever, Ocean, Water, submarine, explore, Sea Horse, Exploration, waves, goldfish, Birthday, gold, jellyfish, Interactive