interesting facts about SCUBA diving

34 Seriously Fun Facts about Scuba Diving

Did you know that scuba diving is one of the fastest extreme sports on the rise in the world today? With over 6 million active divers in the world, SCUBA diving is one of the world’s favourite leisure activities.

If you’re new to this fantastic sport or are considering trying, here are 34 interesting facts about SCUBA diving:

  1. SCUBA is an acronym, and stands for ‘Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus’.
  2. It was in 1942 that Jacques Cousteau and his partner Émile Gagnan designed the first successful valve system to supply divers with compressed air, known as the Aqua-Lung.  Today this is known as an open circuit system.
  3. It’s said that Asia, the Red Sea, and the Great Barrier Reef are some of the world’s best scuba diving locations. The diverse colours and marine wildlife are so remarkable in all these locations that people find themselves returning over and over again.
  4. However, water absorbs light rapidly. That’s why scuba diving rookies might feel disappointed that the underwater world actually looks a little bit less colourful than in the TV documentaries.
  5. Many people wrongly believe that the air in the scuba diving tanks is pure oxygen, but that would poison the diver!

Fun Facts about Scuba Diving

  1. The air SCUBA divers breathe is actually a mixture of compressed gases. Typically, 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen.
  2. Surprisingly, oxygen becomes toxic on dives deeper than 42 meters.  Commercial and technical divers use a special mixture of oxygen, helium and nitrogen (Trimix) during the deep phases of dives.
  3. Nitrogen narcosis, also known as ‘narks’ is a symptom that occurs to divers at depths of over 30 meters.  The increased pressure alters the state of the oxygen and nitrogen and breathing these gasses can make a person feel uncomfortably drunk and at worst, fall in to a coma and die.
  4. Divers need to be certified to breathe these other gas mixes, called Nitrox and Trimix.
  5. Caisson’s Disease also known as decompression sickness is a more serious effect of nitrogen when nitrogen starts to form bubbles in the diver’s body.
  1. Most importantly, divers must remember never to go too deep too quickly and never to go back to the surface too quickly.
  2. Caisson’s Disease also known as decompression sickness is a more serious effect of nitrogen when nitrogen starts to form bubbles in the diver’s body.
  3. An important rule in scuba diving is to stay safe. So, don’t be tempted into buying diving equipment and simply giving it a go without the proper training.
  4. Still want to buy all the right diving gear? You’ll need a wetsuit, fins, a mask, weights, a regulator and octopus (a backup regulator) a tank and a BCD. You can usually rent all of this from any good dive shop.
  5. The limit for recreational SCUBA divers is 30 meters (100 ft). Advanced recreational diving limits are set at 40 meters (130ft).

fun facts about SCUBA diving

  1. British divers during World War II were already using what they called a “Nitrox Rebreather” at a depth of 30 m. It was one of the best-kept secrets by the Royal Navy for a long time.
  2. According to Diver’s Alert Network (DAN), accidents happen only once every 211864 dives, even though scuba diving is considered a risk sport.
  3. The most common scuba diving injury is a broken toe.
  4. The average diver burns around 600 kilo-calories per hour in temperate waters. This is due to the large effort on the body to maintain its temperature.
  5. In fact, while scuba diving your body burns more calories per minute than during many other sporting activities.

fun facts about scuba diving

  1. There are lots of new acronyms to learn , including “BCD” (Buoyancy Control Device), “SMB” (Surface Marker Buoy), “SPG” (Submersible Pressure Gauge)… And lots, lots more!
  2. PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors, and is one of the worlds best known recreational diving associations that teach safe SCUBA diving techniques.
  3. After the PADI Open Water Diver course, the most popular speciality is Underwater Photographer.
  4. The Guinness World Record for the deepest SCUBA dive ever is held by Egyptian, Ahmed Gabr. He dived to a mind-blowing 332.35 meters in the Red Sea!
  5. Once you dive past a depth more than 10 meters, natural light has absorbed to the point that red and yellow colors are no longer visible. If you’re taking pictures, you’ll need an underwater torch or a red filter for your camera.

scuba diving facts

  1. The depth limit is between 30 and 40 meters (equating to 100 to 133 feet) for recreational divers. If you want to go deeper, special training or a specially trained companion is required.
  2. Coral reefs support more marine life than any other environment.
  3. The largest coral reef in the world is the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. It’s so large that it can be seen from space!
  4. Once children have reached the age of 8 year, they can learn to dive. The limiting factor is that they must be able to carry their equipment.
  5. The art team behind “Finding Nemo”, one of the most successful and memorable Pixar animated films didn’t leave anything to chance. They took scuba diving courses in oceanography, marine biology and more, to understand the underwater world better.

Fun Scuba Diving Facts

  1. If you spit in your dive mask before the dive, it will prevent the mask from fogging. This is because the spit covers the lens and the layer will be too smooth for the condensed vapour to hold on to. As an alternative, you can use soap or detergent.
  2. Sound travels five times faster underwater than it does through the air. This makes it almost impossible to ascertain where the sound is coming from, as we rely on the time difference between our ears to do so.
  3. The diving counterpart of the mile high club is called the 20 metre club.
  4. You may fancy going for a dive with large sharks if you have the nerves! You’re closed into a steel cage and lowered into chummed water, with the sharks being attracted by fish guts.

Do you know any fun or interesting facts about Scuba diving that we’ve missed?  Share them here in the comments section below!

3 Comments

  • Sophia says:

    I love this.

  • Andrew says:

    The author might want to take another look at number 4 and correct the error. Oxygen does become toxic at dept however, it’s the nitrogen in the compressed air that causes “nitrogen” narcosis.

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