Following a spate of maritime attacks and numerous reported sightings of a giant creature, the United States government dispatches the Abraham Lincoln to hunt down the ocean menace - whatever it is. The expedition party includes rewned scientist Pierre Aronnax and his trusty manservant, along with expert harpooner Ned Land. When the ship finds its target, all three are tossed overboard and swallowed up in the ensuing battle. But this sea-dwelling monster has a metal skin and is driven by human desires: the submarine Nautilus, commanded by the mysterious, volatile Captain Nemo. The prisoners are well treated, and Aronnax relishes the wondrous sights they encounter on their travels: extraordinary marine life, wrecks of ancient galleons and the chance to gaze upon the lost city of Atlantis. But battles with giant squid and polar ice show that mortal jeopardy is never far away, and the greatest danger of all lies in a deranged captain who has cut himself off from civilization and is waging a revenge-driven personal war.