The Sensational History of Scuba Diving


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Since humanity started, people have questioned what lies beneath the deep. Untouchable secrets and techniques, simply out of attain, have beckoned from the depths. Mysterious and undeniably scary, the idea of respiration underwater tantalized the pioneers of diving, simply because it does for divers at this time. Let’s take a deeper look into the historical past of scuba diving.

An Introduction to The Historical past of Scuba Diving

Scuba diving goes again many, a few years. Even in Greek mythology, a warrior evaded Persian enemies by respiration by means of a hole reed whereas remaining submerged beneath the ocean. Persian divers, however, created goggles out of polished tortoise shells. Legend additionally says that Alexander the Nice used a picket barrel as an historic sort of diving bell. Within the Ming Dynasty in China, divers upgraded from holding their breath to respiration by means of an extended, curved pipe, hooked up to the face by a masks.

dive helmet history of diving

All historic historical past apart, individuals have free dived for meals, sponges, and pearls for eons. In olden occasions, free diving deeper than 130 ft (40 meters) was widespread, all with out assistance from any air or trendy gear. Right now, many individuals everywhere in the world nonetheless interact on this harmful but spectacular exercise, mentioning pearls, lobsters, and shells.

Diving started to take leaps and bounds within the 1500’s with the invention of the diving bell. Individuals stretched the bounds of physics and their our bodies throughout these harmful journeys beneath the water, as little or no was recognized about oxygen consumption right now. Throughout this time, extra refined gear started to reach.

Leather-based diving fits and diving helmets have been developed, and air was pumped into these fits from the floor by way of lengthy, versatile hoses when the air pump was invented in 1771.

It wasn’t till the 1800’s that research passed off on decompression illness and the consequences of water strain. Two males developed the primary compressed air tank and a easy regulator, the primary large step in the direction of trendy scuba diving.

Shock! Harry Houdini even had a hand within the realm of scuba diving. Due to his work as an escape artist he would typically be trapped beneath the water. His ingenuity was plain, and he invented a dive go well with in 1921 that was straightforward to get out of. Now, divers might shortly rid themselves of their fits in the event that they turned tangled or trapped, thus saving their lives.

Diving turned much more accessible within the 1940’s because of the genius of Emile Gangnan and Jacques Cousteau. Collectively, they invented the primary trendy demand regulator and improved the diving go well with. They named the regulator “Aqua Lung,” and it utterly reworked the diving world. At the moment, Aqualung continues to be a outstanding and dependable model.

A lot of the extra trendy scuba diving gear has been developed, sadly, as a consequence of warfare. From diving bells to submarines, the power to go beneath the floor and keep there for prolonged durations of time is of nice significance throughout a siege. Holding divers protected turned a precedence, and new and improved gear was a necessity.

Heading Beneath the Floor

Are you able to think about being the primary individual to make use of a diving bell or metallic scuba helmet? Or to go underneath the floor with nothing however a rubber hose in your mouth? To say that these innovators have been courageous can be an enormous understatement. The hazard concerned was astronomical, however these pioneers paved the best way for generations of explorers to comply with. It’s protected to say the historical past of scuba diving is crammed with risk-takers.


With out such courageousness there isn't a method we might have explored even a fraction of what we now have seen. Although a lot of the world is undiscovered, scuba diving has given us the keys to the locks which have remained steadfast since time started.

Scuba diving has advanced closely through the years, and we might do properly to pay some homage to those that lived and died making scuba diving the fantastic sport that's immediately.

Influential Divers within the Historical past of Scuba Diving

Due to their willpower and ingenuity these divers ought to be talked about in any historical past of scuba diving. With out the work that these positive people put into the sector there's a good probability that none of us can be scuba diving, at the moment. Because of their dedication to exploration and discovery, collectively we will proceed to create and uncover.

Yves Paul Gaston Le Prieur (1885 – 1963)

A member of the French Navy and a worldwide traveler, Le Prieur was no stranger to the ocean. A personality in contrast to another, Le Prieur was the primary man to take off in a aircraft from Japanese soil, and was the primary Frenchman to earn a Black Belt in judo.

In 1926, Yves le Prieur created the primary S.C.U.B.A., or Self Contained Underwater Respiration Equipment. He was impressed by earlier variations of scuba gear, however knew that the tube that ran from the diver to the floor was a hindrance and a security hazard. He created a brand new gadget that consisted of compressed air contained in a cylinder and a easy strain regulator. For the primary time ever, people might breathe underwater, on their very own. Although you couldn’t keep underneath for very lengthy, the idea took off, giving engineers and scientists a template to work off of for years to return.

His subsequent massive invention was the complete face masks, which changed the Fernez goggles. Fernez goggles clenched tighter and tighter to the diver’s face as they descended, typically resulting in disastrous penalties and “masks squeeze.” The complete face masks was related to the respiration equipment, so strain was maintained between the 2. Now, you might dive far deeper than the earlier 32 foot (10 meter) restrict.

Lloyd Bridges (1958 – 1961)

An sudden identify so as to add to this record is Lloyd Bridges, the lead character within the massively common tv present “Sea Hunt.” Operating between 1958 and 1961, Sea Hunt flickered on TV screens throughout the globe. Typically narrated, Bridges’ character Mike Nelson dove to the seafloor to seek out sunken treasure or downed satellites, surrounded by flitting fish and odd creatures.

Due to his underwater antics, the world was launched to the submarine seascapes, with all of their wild and bizarre wonders. Individuals started to need to expertise the depths for themselves, and scuba diving turned a recent, widespread pastime. Hundreds of individuals equipped and headed beneath the waves: the very first batch of mainstream leisure scuba divers.

Sylvia Earle (1935 – at the moment)

Along with being an unimaginable marine biologist, writer, and explorer, Sylvia Earle was the primary feminine chief scientist of the U.S. Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Not solely that, however she set the ladies’s depth report of 1,250 ft (381 meters) in 1979 throughout a visit to Oahu.

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Dr. Sylvia Earle

She and her husband, a submarine designer and engineer, designed the Deep Rover, a analysis submarine that would go to depths beforehand unexplored, as much as three,300 ft (1,000 meters). She then furthered her focus in marine engineering by founding the Deep Ocean Exploration and Analysis, creating gear to discover the deepest of the deep.

In 1998 she was named by Time Journal as their very first “Hero for the Planet,” due to her work in biology and engineering. She additionally turned a Nationwide Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, the place she is also known as “Her Deepness.” Dr. Syvlia Earle is extensively held as a outstanding determine within the historical past of scuba diving, marine conservation and exploration.

John Cronin (1929 – 2003) & Ralph Erickson (1922 – 2006)

The co-creators of PADI (Skilled Affiliation of Diving Instructors) revolutionized the best way scuba diving works, in the present day. In 1966, it turned easy for anyone to develop into a diver by studying expertise and incomes a collection of certifications. Tens of millions of individuals at the moment are licensed scuba divers, and diving has reached new, astounding heights.

John Cronin, along with being some of the influential individuals within the diving business, was the President of the Diving Gear Advertising Affiliation, and utterly almost 50 years within the scuba diving business. In 1969 he was named the CEO and President of U.S. Divers, a title that he maintained till his retirement.

Ralph Erickson was all the time at house within the water, forming a swimming faculty in 1959 after his stint in WWII. All the time on the forefront, he turned teacher #35 within the very top notch of NAUI Instructors. He wrote a ebook about scuba diving titled “Underneath Strain”, and he used it throughout his courses to show college students what he knew about diving. He gained acquired a number of awards and recognition late in his life, and was even elected into the Worldwide Scuba Diving Corridor of Fame.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910 – 1997)

Synonymous with scuba diving is the identify “Jacques Cousteau.” As one of many co-inventors of AquaLung, Jacques Cousteau was greater than a pioneer, he was one of the crucial influential leaders within the scuba diving area and is a well known determine from the start of the historical past of scuba diving. The AquaLung allowed divers to dive for for much longer, and to go deeper than ever earlier than.

History of Scuba Diving - Cousteau with PADI CEO
Jacques Cousteau & former PADI CEO John Cronin in 1970

Jacques Cousteau had a want to make the unknown recognized, and did all he might to share all that he had seen with most of the people. All through his life he targeted on marine conservation, and educating others concerning the joys of scuba diving. He wrote books about what he noticed deep underneath the water, sharing his observations with the world.

All through WWII he targeted on creation, not destruction. He satisfied an Admiral within the French Navy to permit them to type the Underwater Analysis Group, utilizing his newly developed aqualung to maneuver via minefields, discover archeological wrecks, and conduct depth checks. This analysis modified scuba diving, eternally.

In 1956 Cousteau additionally created his personal submarine, often known as a “diving saucer.” He used this primary era of submarines was used to make movies concerning the underwater world, heading right down to over 1150 ft (350 meters). Not quickly after, he created a model that would go even additional down, as much as 1600 ft (500 meters). With these submersibles he created the famend documentary “The Silent World” which gained a extremely esteemed award on the Cannes Movie Pageant.

Till the top of his life within the 1990’s, Cousteau continued to put in writing, dive, train, and study. He starred in a number of movies and tv exhibits, and even acquired a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan.

His genius has introduced us lovely and perspective altering quotes, educating and guiding us. Considered one of his most well-known sayings was this, “The ocean, as soon as it casts its spell, holds one in its internet of marvel perpetually,” an concept that resonates with any scuba diver or lover of the ocean.

We’re Simply Getting Our Fins Moist

Scuba diving continues to be making leaps and bounds, with new and groundbreaking gear being designed and utilized yearly. Little tweaks have introduced our masks, fins, and snorkels to new highs, making diving and snorkeling extra snug and handy. Snorkels have purge valves, fins may be versatile or cut up, and masks are product of tempered glass, maintaining us protected at excessive depths.

Divemaster - PADI Pro - Scuba Divers - Topside - Beach

Drysuits have been lately improved, making chilly water diving a cinch. Although divers have finagled drysuits for a few years, it was not till pretty just lately that they have been obtainable so readily to the plenty. The most recent improvement in scuba diving is the invention of the LED mild, which aids divers in illuminating the extreme darkness of the underwater world.

All of this new gear helps us to dive extra, dwelling out what scuba diving greats like Jacques Cousteau dreamed for us to do. The underwater world that was as soon as so distant and scary is slowly however certainly coming into focus, yearly bringing increasingly divers into the sector. As a result of tens of millions of scuba divers at the moment are licensed, extra dive outlets are opening and dive websites are being found. The scuba diving group is discovering every untouched nook of the ocean, little by little.

Oceans cowl 71% of the floor of the globe, and greater than 95% (sure, 95%!) of the Earth’s underwater world is unexplored. These outrageous statistics mixed with our unquenchable lust for information will proceed to deliver individuals deep into the waters of the world, the place we'll study increasingly on each dive we accomplish.

Need to study extra concerning the sport of scuba diving?

Take a look at Scuba Diving Magazine for extra info on dive locations, gear and programs.

This weblog was initially written by Bridget Pearson and revealed on the Diviac Journal.

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