Everybody knows what scuba diving is; it is the diver with the air tank on his back and a mouthpiece. The basic scuba set-up is a tank of compressed oxygen on the diver’s back, with a line to a mouth piece. The oxygen is delivered through a mouth piece, allowing the diver to breath. Your carbon dioxide is then either released into the water, or, in self-contained systems or rebreathers, back into the tank. Few people actually know that scuba stands for something, however. The word ‘scuba’ is actually an acronym for “Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus”. Scuba diving is, of course, different from unassisted diving. The history of scuba is quite recent. The biggest advance on the path to scuba diving came in the 16th century, when people started using diving bells to pump air from the surface to people underwater. Needless to say, things have advanced a fair bit since then, although the diving bell remained an important method for centuries. Scuba diving as we know it really came together during and after World War II.
Why is scuba diving such a popular sport?
It is hard to think of a sport or hobby more exciting or rewarding than scuba diving. First off, scuba diving gives you access to underwater life in a way nothing else can. The vast majority of the world is underwater and waiting to be explored! When you scuba dive, you become one of the few people to have ever ventured into this exotic world to any degree. The world’s seas and oceans are some of the last few undiscovered places on our planet – that is why scuba diving is so awesome. There is also the fact that it can be absolutely beautiful under the water. If you have ever had the opportunity to go scuba diving off the coast of Australia along the Great Barrier Reef, you will know how amazingly gorgeous life under the sea can be. Scuba diving can even give you the chance to search for buried gold and treasure. From the Caribbean to the Mediterranean to the Great Lakes to the English Channel, there are countless shipwrecks waiting to be explored.
Risks associated with scuba diving
It should be noted that, despite being an amazing hobby or sport, scuba diving can be dangerous; after all, you are putting yourself under water and hooking your lungs up to a tube of air. If something goes wrong with your air or you become trapped, then you will experience obvious difficulties. The most common injury related to scuba diving is a result of changes in air pressure. As you go deeper underwater, the pressure around you increases. If the pressure becomes too much, you can rupture your eardrums or damage your sinuses. And if you come up from underwater too quickly, you can also get ‘the bends’, also known as decompression sickness.
How to become a scuba diver
Before getting into the water, it is important that you receive the proper certification from your national certification board to be a scuba diver. Indeed, many rental agencies will not rent you equipment without proof of certification.
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