Born in Cape Town in 1958, Zapiro couldn’t imagine a career in cartooning, so he studied architecture at University of Cape Town.

Couldn’t imagine a career in architecture, so…>

'The Youth League Under the Sea':
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© Zapiro | Mar 29, 2012 | The Times

The Youth League Under the Sea


THE ORIGINAL VERSION of this cartoon (below) mistakenly shortened the depth at 11 000 FEET (rather than meters). It's an understandable error, because ocean depths, boat lengths and other things nautical are often measured in feet rather than the metric unit.

In the old days, the commonly used term of measuring ocean depths was a 'League'. Wikipedia notes that on land, a league was most commonly defined as three miles (about 4.8 km), while at sea, a league was three nautical miles (about 5.6 km). If that were not confusing enough, the measurement has different values in many different countries. [see HERE for more info]. While a 'League' was the unit for measuring depths in the days of Jules Verne (who wrote '20 000 Leagues Under the Sea'), 'Marks' measured the depths in 'Tom Sawyer' author Samuel Clemens' time, inspiring his pseudonym 'Mark Twain'. Mississippi steamboats of the day would use that term to describe two such lengths when weighing anchor. Which had nothing to do with it's weight, of course.

With all this confusion, no wonder the cartoonist put a foot wrong. To be safe though, he'd be best advised to stick with cartooning and avoid attempting deep sea exploration (where he may find himself well out of his depth)!

Zapiro puts a foot in it!

ABOVE: The version in which Zapiro put his foot in it.