10 MINDBLOWING FACTS ABOUT SCUBA DIVING
Written by Urve Patel, 20 June 2023.
Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a newbie, why not impress your dive buddies by surprising them with some interesting fun facts on your next trip!
1. SCUBA is an acronym
Did you really think that Jacques Cousteau and Émile Gagnan just woke up one morning and decide to call their first independent underwater respirator ‘SCUBA’.
The term SCUBA is an abbreviation for ‘Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus’. It is a device that allows inhalation of compressed air and exhale into the water. This device is now generally referred to as ‘scuba gear’.
2. The ‘Fathers’ of SCUBA and Aqua Lung
Interestingly, historians have found designs drawn by Leonardo da Vinci more than 300 years ago of a similar devise to the aqualung. But just because you can draw something does not make you the inventor – bad luck old chap!
3. Diving RecordsThe deepest dive by a man was made by Egyptian Ahmed Gabr who dived to a depth of 332.35 m in the Red Sea on September 18, 2014. The descent took him 15 mins, but the ascent lasted a whopping 13 hrs and 35 mins!!
The deepest dive by a woman to a depth of 246.2 m was achieved by South African Karen van den Oever on 27th October 2022 in Boesmansgat Cave in the North Cape in South Africa. The dive was conducted in 8 hrs and 14 mins.
The oldest male scuba diver was William Lambert (USA, born September 5, 1920), at then exactly 100 years of age.
The deepest swimming pool for diving is 60.02m (196 ft 10 in) deep and can be found at Deep Dive Dubai (UAE), in Dubai, UAE.The longest dive in the world is an astonishing 145 hours, 25 minutes, and 25 seconds. Egypt Saddam Killany is the current record-holder. He had to be strapped to a scaffold to hold his body in place while he slept.
4. Heard of the Mile-High Club? What about the 20-Meter Club?
If your feeling horny and adventurous next time your underwater, how about joining the ‘20-meter club’? By the ways ladies (and gents), everything looks 33% BIGGER underwater when wearing a scuba mask!
It is a grand scuba diving tradition that every diver don nothing but their ‘birthday’ (wet) suits, a tank and a mask for the au natural experience!
A note to the guys, make sure you’re diving somewhere tropical and warm! Just saying!
6. Everyone can hear you scream!
Sound travels 5x faster underwater than in air. However, did you know there is a depth range in the ocean known as the ‘sound channel’ that allows sound waves to travel thousands of miles without signal lose! This sound channel is created by the properties of sound, and the temperature and pressure differences at different depth in the ocean.
7. More plastic than fish!
A recent report by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation estimated that by the year 2050, the oceans will have more individual pieces of plastic than fish! Than FISH!! This devastating prediction should scare the bejeezus out of anyone. But what can be done? Check out the ProjectAWARE and Dive Against Debris speciality course offered by PADI that aim to address this problem.
8. Invasive Species
A seldom thought of problem our oceans are facing is threats from invasive species. In the Western Atlantic, in particular, lionfish are kicking ass and taking names. Meaning, they are absolutely destroying the coral reefs in Florida, The Bahamas, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and beyond.
9. Who needs a gym when you can scuba!
Many do not refer to diving as a “sport”. But in fact, your body burns more calories per minute than with many other activities. The average diver can burn up to 600 calories an hour.
10. The rule of diminishing colour.
In water, certain parts of the light spectra are absorbed first followed by others. Red is the first colour to be absorbed, followed progressively by orange, yellow, green and so on.
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