Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. Illustrated with 116 color and black and white Illustrations by Alphonse de Neuville, Édouard Riou and engravings by Hildibrand. This is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus as seen from the perspective of Professor Pierre Aronnax. The title refers to the distance traveled while under the sea and not to a depth, as 20,000 leagues is over six times the diameter of Earth. As the story begins, a mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition in New York City to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story. Canadian master harpoonist Ned Land and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil are also brought on board.