Who was the Valdivia?
On Juli 31st, 1898, the research vessel Valdivia set sail from Hamburg. It was the German Empire’s first great expedition to explore the deep sea, led by Carl Chun from Hoechst, today Frankfurt/Main, who lived from 1852 to 1914. The Valdivia, which was equipped with what was then cutting-edge research devices, was not only capable of sounding the ocean at depths of 6km and more.
A Research Adventure – the Voyage of the Valdivia
On its voyage, the Valdivia scaled more than 32,000 sea miles (59,264 km) across the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. With her bathymeter, a depth sounding device, she discovered not only the Walvis Ridge, an ocean ridge off the Namibian coast, but also substantial structures in the Indian Ocean, almost entirely unknown territory at that point. The rediscovery of Bouvet Island, a volcanic island about halfway between Cape Town and Antarctica, was sort of a side effect of that trip.
As Thrilling as a Crime Story – Discovering Life in the Deep Sea
Apart from systematically deep-sounding throughout the entire voyage, the main goal of the expedition was gathering specimen of deep sea creatures. The yield was so extensive that the 24-volume scientific report on it was only finalised in 1940. Beside numerous hitherto unknown types of animals and plants, Chun also gained fundmental scientific findings, such as the adaption of organisms to the specific conditions in the deep sea.
What is our Link with a Research Vessel?
Executive Search, from our perspective, is possible only if you go deep enough. Recruiting at top level can only be successful with in-depth understanding of human nature and the relevant technical know-how. Going deep, however, also stands for our commitment and passion in our approach to work, every single day – just like Carl Chun, the initiator and leader of the Valdivia expedition. It took him two years to prepare the mission and to promote it within the Society of German Natural Scientists and Physicians (Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte e. V., GDNÄ), which is today the oldest and biggest interdisciplinary scientific association in Germany. It is with this constructive spirit that we feel a link – and we experience the value of it in our work every single day.
If you want to learn more about the voyage and the discoveries of the Valdivia, we recommend this book: “Valdivia. Die Geschichte der ersten deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition” by Rudi Palla, published by Galiani Verlag (Berlin 2016), ISBN 9783869711249.