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Scuba History 101

 

Video transcript: Have you ever wondered when scuba diving was invented? Or about the earliest historical recordings of diving in the ocean? And how did they dive before modern technologies came about? We're here with all the info you've been searching for.   For centuries humans have had unquenchable desire to explore the oceans. It is man's insatiable quest for knowledge that has driven us to delve into the unknown. The history of scuba diving is a long and fascinating one but here's a brief overview of its origins.   Diving goes all the way back to before 500BC when Greek soldiers breathed through hollow tubes during wars. Famed philosopher Aristotle reported that Alexander the Great hid during the siege of Tyre using a barrel as a primitive diving bell.   Diving bells were chambers that transported divers to the depths of the ocean. The pressure of the water kept the air trapped inside meaning divers could get a supply of air without swimming back to the surface. This enabled people to be able to dive at deeper depths and for longer periods of time. These bells were used for hunting and for collecting sunken treasures. Leonardo Da Vinci drafted diving suit designs that heavily resembled actual diving suits that wouldn't be seen anywhere for another few hundred years.   However, due to the limitations of the diving bell the equipment needed to be more advanced and so people began to work on new ways of supplying air underwater. In Europe in the 1500s primitive diving suits were created with pumps to provide air. These were slowly developed over the next two centuries and progressed into brass diving helmets and rubber suits.   More advanced diving suits were developed from the 1800s through to the World Wars where they were used for salvage and repair.   Enter Jacques Cousteau who is known as the father of scuba diving. Among his many talents including a film maker, producer, writer, explorer and photographer; he was also the inventor of modern scuba diving as we know it. He and engineer Emille Gagnan created a rebreather device that revolutionized diving. In 1943 they developed the aqua lung. They attached their new demand valve design to hoses, a mouthpiece and a pair of two cylinders. This more affordable and simple design meant that more people could explore the oceans. Costeau and Gagnan opened up a vast portion of the world to human exploration.   These designs have continually become more advanced over the years. We now have Buoyancy Control Devices, pressure gauges and single hose regulators as well as dive computers.   Instead of just a select few, now there are an estimated 500, 000 new divers certified every year in the US alone.   The advancement of diving technology is continually being developed as more and more people take up scuba diving. This opens up countless possibilities to explore deeper, further and to discover more.  


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