When you dive underwater, you go deep down the water surface. It is a beautiful experience. There are different corals, fishes, and especially some water plants that may seem to have come from an alien planet! When you are underwater diving, you are not aware of what you’re going to see. You may feel butterflies in your stomach as you look at the vast ocean ahead. However, once you are in the water, your feelings will change upon seeing the beauty of the world below. Therefore, today, let us talk about how this activity of diving underwater came into being.
Origins Of Underwater Diving
You can date the activity of diving/swimming underwater back to old times. In those times, people swam down the surface of the water, looking for pearls and ocean sponges. It is because these pearls and sponges fetched a high price in markets.
However, with no proper training and equipment, it was a dangerous act, and it took the lives of many divers. Over time, and with the development of gear, two forms of underwater diving, snorkelling, and scuba became more popular.
If you want to snorkel, you only require swimming goggles, a face mask, a short breathing tube, and flippers. The breathing tube, called a snorkel, connects to the mouth of the diver and sticks out of the water surface. Snorkelling, especially became popular in the 1920s and 30s by Guy Gilpatric of America. In his book, The Compleat Goggler, he gave great importance to this sport and spread it across the world.
Scuba diving means staying below the water surface for relatively more extended periods than snorkelling. Divers do this with the help of independent diving gear. Since the 19th century, there were attempts to create diving gear. However, in 1943, Jacques Cousteau and French Engineer ÉmileGagnan made it possible. These people built the first fully automatic diving equipment called the Aqua-Lung.
Moreover, Cousteau also did important work on underwater photography; In addition to this, Cousteau also mentioned the sport in the book “The Silent World.” Eventually, scuba diving gained popularity as scuba gear started becoming available after 1943. Consequently, scuba became the most popular form of underwater diving.
Underwater Diving Sports
As humans, we always like to try our hands at new things. So as a result, we now also have competitive underwater sports such as underwater hockey and spearfishing.
- Underwater Hockey: The British Navy invented this sport to maintain it’s divers’ fitness levels and improve their movement underwater. Shortly after, the game came to Australia and became famous. As of today, 20 countries play this sport in a 2-4 m deep pool.
- Spearfishing: It is a competitive underwater sport of hunting and capturing fish without any breathing gear. This sport uses weapons which range from simple spears to guns which can take down even large fish.
However, this sport harms animals. Hence many organisations have stepped forward to stop this activity. Moreover, many countries have banned this sport and the use of mechanical spearguns as of today.