Google celebrates Jules Verne's birthday with a doodle

Google is celebrating the life and works of Jules Gabriel Verne today with a splendid looking new logo. The excellently crafted doodle puts the viewer inside a bathyscaphe with nicely rendered, brass portholes as the letters, through which – with the tilt of the lever at the right of the doodle – you can navigate the world beneath the waves.

It is by far Google’s most impressive logo yet; the undersea-scape is a vast area full of wonderful creatures and ocean fauna, both colourful and immersive. It’s a fitting tribute to the French author who penned such captivating titles as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon and Around the World in 80 Days.

Verne was a master science fiction writer and his stories have stood the test of time. Some might call him a visionary, for many of his inventions have now become a reality, with undersea exploration taking us as deep as seven miles (in the Mariana Trench off the coast of Japan).

He was born in Nantes, France on February 8th, 1828 and the eldest of five siblings. He moved to Paris hoping to become a lawyer but when his father – who had hopes of his oldest progeny taking over the family legal practise – discovered his son was writing he cut his allowance. That led Jules to his first job as a stock broker which sustained his living until 1863 when his first book, Five Weeks in a Balloon was published.

From then on his writing became prolific and having taken advice from Three Musketeers author Alexandre Dumas, he found a new lease of life which stretched his imagination to whole new realms of possibilities.

In his lifetime he wrote more than 80 books, along with countless essays, poems and plays, and has been an inspiration to generation upon generation of reader and writer alike ever since.

[adsense]He passed away on March 24th, 1905 at the age of 77, and his parting gift to the world was the story of a man living in a world of high speed trains that connected large cities full of skyscrapers, cars and other electronic devices; and although the book was originally deemed too pessimistic, it was eventually published in 1989.

Verne’s books have been made onto countless film and play adaptations and his two most famous characters, Captain Nemo and Phileas Fogg have featured in many movies, especially Nemo who was portrayed recently in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Please share your thoughts on the work of Jules Verne, or your favourite story by leaving a comment.

Read about other doodles including, Christmas and New Year, Paul Cezanne, Burns’ night and John F. Kennedy‘s inaugural speech.

images: telegraph.co.uk, hokahey-littleworlds.blogspot.com