65 Jacques Cousteau Quotes About Ocean, Life and Science

Jacques Cousteau was a French naval officer and ocean explorer who co-invented the Aqua-Lung which allows divers to stay underwater for a long time.

Born in 1910 he had to give up his dream of being a navy pilot after a car accident.

He invented many tools for oceanographers including a small submarine and underwater cameras.

Cousteau was also in World War II making films and doing research.

Jacques  Cousteau quotes

He wrote books made documentaries and founded the Cousteau Society for marine conservation.

He won awards like the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Below are the best quotes by Jacques Cousteau.

Best Jacques Cousteau Quotes


The sea is not a bargain basement. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 per day. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

We know how to organize warfare, but do we know how to act when confronted with peace? ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

No sooner does man discover intelligence than he tries to involve it in his own stupidity. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Mankind has probably done more damage to the Earth in the 20th century than in all of previous human history. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

I wake up saying, I’m still alive; a miracle. And so I keep on pushing. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free. ~ Jacques Cousteau.

I was playing when I invented the aqualung. I think play is the most serious thing in the world. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

When we return wild animals to nature, we merely return them to what is already theirs. For man cannot give wild animals freedom, they can only take it away. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Every explorer I have met has been driven – not coincidentally but quintessentially – by curiosity, by a single-minded, insatiable, and even jubilant need to know. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

May this continent, the last explored by humankind, be the first one to be spared by humankind. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

And let us remember too that life, in its exuberance, always succeeds in overflowing the narrow limits within which man thinks he can confine it. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

The sea is the universal sewer. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Human beings had polluted the seawater and mechanically destroyed the nearby coast; all life had paid this price. Often, in airports, on sidewalks, at restaurants, children and adults alike stop me to ask about barracuda and sharks; killer whales; the deadly sorcery of the Bermuda Triangle; the Loch Ness Monster. When I saw Le Veyron, I believed that the sea’s most monstrous force doesn’t live in Loch Ness. It lives in us. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

People protect what they love. ~ Jacques Cousteau.

What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what’s going on. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed and if we are not willing to change, we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Buoyed by water, he can fly in any direction-up, down, sideways-by merely flipping his hand. Under water, man becomes an archangel. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

The reason I love the sea I cannot explain – it’s physical. When you dive you begin to feel like an angel. It’s a liberation of your weight. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.


The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

The awareness of our environment came progressively in all countries with different outlets. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to know that our lives have been changed, to discard the old, embrace the new, and run headlong down an immutable course. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Top Jacques Cousteau Quotes

With earth’s burgeoning human population to feed we must turn to the sea with understanding and new technology. We need to farm it as we farm the land. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

In the deep space of the sea I have found my moon. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Overconsumption and overpopulation underlie every environmental problem we face today. ~ Jacques Cousteau.

To enlarge the human perspective, to build on knowledge for future generations, to identify dangers, and to chart the course to a better world: If these are the goals of the explorer, then everyone – voyager, scientist and citizen, parent and child – is engaged in humanity’s momentous expedition. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Through the window of my mask I see a wall of coral, its surface a living kaleidoscope of lilac flecks, splashes of gold, reddish streaks and yellows, all tinged by the familiar transparent blue of the sea. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

I am not a scientist. I am, rather, an impresario of scientists. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

There was wildlife, untouched, a jungle at the border of the sea, never seen by those who floated on the opaque roof. Describing his early experience, in 1936, when a fellow naval officer, Philippe Tailliez, gave him goggles to see below the Mediterranean Sea surface. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

I am absolutely enraptured by the atmosphere of a wreck. A dead ship is the house of a tremendous amount of life-fish and plants. The mixture of life and death is mysterious, even religious. There is the same sense of peace and mood that you feel on entering a cathedral. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

We must plant the sea and herd its animals using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about – farming replacing hunting. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Famous Jacques Cousteau Quotes

Without ethics, everything happens as if we were all five billion passengers on a big machinery and nobody is driving the machinery. And it’s going faster and faster, but we don’t know where. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Some of these islanders dutifully recited for us their ancient law: Take no more from the sea in one day than there are people in your village. If you observe this rule, the bonito will run well again tomorrow. ~ Jacques Cousteau.

We are living in an interminable succession of absurdities imposed by the myopic logic of short-term thinking. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Ultimate Jacques Cousteau Quotes

However fragmented the world, however intense the national rivalries, it is an inexorable fact that we become more interdependent every day. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

The future of nutrition is found in the oceans. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

I said that the oceans were sick but they’re not going to die. There is no death possible in the oceans – there will always be life – but they’re getting sicker every year. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Perhaps the time has come to formulate a moral code which would govern our relations with the great creatures of the sea as well as with those on dry land. That this will come to pass is my dear wish. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

To restate an old law – when a man bites a fish, that’s good, but when a fish bites a man, that’s bad. This is one way of saying it’s all right if man kills an animal, but if an animal attacks man, the act is reprehensible. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Great Jacques Cousteau Quotes

All life is part of a complex relationship in which each is dependent upon the others, taking from, giving to and living with all the rest. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

I believe that national sovereignties will shrink in the face of universal interdependence. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Population growth is the primary source of environmental damage. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Man, of all the animals, is probably the only one to regard himself as a great delicacy. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by only observing prisoners held in solitary confinement. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Wise Jacques Cousteau Quotes

We must go and see for ourselves. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

If we were logical, the future would be bleak, indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope, and we can work. ~ Jacques Cousteau.

The road to the future leads us smack into the wall. We simply ricochet off the alternatives that destiny offers. Our survival is no more than a question of 25, 50 or perhaps 100 years. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

I experimented with all possible maneuvers-loops, somersaults and barrel rolls. I stood upside down on one finger and burst out laughing, a shrill, distorted laugh. Nothing I did altered the automatic rhythm of the air. Delivered from gravity and buoyancy, I flew around in space. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

In order to save the planet it would be necessary to kill 350,000 people per day. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Farming as we do it is hunting, and in the sea we act like barbarians. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.


Under water, man becomes an archangel. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

A lot of people attack the sea, I make love to it. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

If human civilization is going to invade the waters of the earth, then let it be first of all to carry a message of respect. ~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

So these were the 65 top Jacques Cousteau quotes on ocean, sharks, life and science.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Will Rogers quotes and Calvin Coolidge quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar