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What is Scuba Diving?

Updated on October 13, 2014

Scuba Diving is how you explore the amazing underwater world

It's an addictive hobby that will have you coming back for more, from the first time that you check out the world under the sea. You'll see things you never thought possible, from sharks to turtles, schools of fish and beautiful coral reefs. it's a peaceful place that is so far removed from your daily life that you'll be longing for your next trip. It's quite simple and easy to learn to scuba dive and something that everyone should try to experience. You won't regret it!


What is Scuba Diving?

The basic answer

Scuba stands for "Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus." It means that you take a tank of compressed air under the water and breathe from it by using a regulator. Usually you have a lot of other equipment too, such as a BCD (bouyancy control device) that you add and remove air from, a wet or drysuit, mask, snorkel, fins, pressure gauge, back-up regulator and weights.

Do you scuba dive?

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Why do people scuba dive?

There are many and various reasons that people scuba dive. Here are the main ones that I can think of:

1. For fun. You can see an entirely new world under the sea...sea creatures (big and small) coral reefs, under the ice and just about anything and everything you could imagine.

2. Commercial reasons including deep sea rigs, boat maintenance, and marine life collection.

3. Military: an elite group do missions underwater for a variety of purposes.

4. Scientific: learning more about our world underwater, including conversation efforts to preserve our seas.


Is Scuba Diving dangerous?

If you don't have the proper training for the activity that you're doing, then yes, it is very dangerous. Some examples of this are people that go much too deep for their experience level, or that enter caves or shipwrecks without the proper safety equipment and procedures.

If you have good training, proper equipment and a lot of common sense, you can dive for a lifetime without any serious problems. Accidents due to equipment malfunction are extremely rare in scuba diving and almost all fatalities happen due to poor judgement.


Where can I Scuba Dive?

You can scuba dive just about anywhere in the world, although some places are much less demanding than others. Scuba diving at coral reefs in the tropics are much easier than cold water environments due to the limited thermal protection that you're required to wear. In some cases, you don't even need a wetsuit. In colder environments, you'll need a drysuit or very thick wetsuit with hoodies and gloves, which places a lot more stress upon the scuba diver.

Most people think of diving in the ocean, but you can also dive in quarries, lakes, or rivers.


What is the history of Scuba Diving?

Although people had been free-diving for hundreds of years, and using rudimentary systems to deliver air underwater, it wasn't until around 1943 that the first modern scuba regulator system was introduced by Jacques Cousteau & Emile Gagnan. The military began using scuba for their purposes and a hard-core group of elite divers pushed the extreme limits, setting new depth and time records. For the next 15 years, scuba diving remained in the hands of these elite, until the YMCA became the first organized group to offer scuba diving certification. In the 1960's, 2 of the biggest Scuba Diving Certification agencies, NAUI and PADI formed in the US.

Today, there are an estimated 500 000 new divers certified every year in the US alone. The numbers of divers certified around the world are staggering.


Can anyone scuba dive?

Although scuba diving is relatively easy to learn and takes only a few days, it isn't for everyone. You need to be at least 12 years old, in excellent health and of a reasonable fitness level. You should be able to make good decisions and think clearly under stress.

Need some inspiration to become a Scuba Diver? - Look no further than this video from Sipadan: the top dive site in the world!

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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I've never had the opportunity but one of my sons dives and he loves it. He often takes an underwater camera and comes back with the most beautiful pictures.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 3 years ago from California

      I love scuba diving! As a PADI Divemaster I have had many underwater adventures. It's an incredibly fun sport. Do you dive?