Today we have incredible technology that allows us to explore the oceans with relative ease. However it wasn’t always like this. People have been trying to invent ways to swim underwater for centuries, often with weird results. Here's five of the strangest inventions people have produced...
Chester E Macduffee – 1910
Inventor Chester E Macduffee created this suit in 1910 that looks like a combination of B-9 and Iron Man Mark 1. It is reported to have been able to go to a depth of 212 feet and weighed around 34 stone. There was a lever inside the arm that they would squeeze to control the handle. It had articulated joints with roller bearings that gave the diver freedom of movement.
Alphonse and Theodore Carmagnolle
This hulking suit was created by French brothers Alphonse and Theodore Carmagnolle in 1880. The suit was made from metal and was equipped with 22 moveable joints. But the most noticeable aspect of the suit was the helmet; it had 25 small portholes dotted over the helmet. The suit was also extremely heavy, weighing over 59 stone. This nightmare suit was the inspiration for Big Daddy from Bioshock series.
Diving Barrel by John Lethbridge, 1715
John Lethbridge created this diving barrel (more info in this article) in 1715. It allowed divers to descend to 18 metres. There were two holes for your arms and a glass panel to see out of. The inventor used it to salvage wrecks and as a result became very wealthy. I bet this wasn’t a ‘barrel’ of laughs to wear...
Leonardo Da Vinci's Dive Suit
Brilliant genius Leonardo Da Vinci designed one of the first diving suits. He envisioned this suit to sabotage enemy vessels by allowing the diver to puncture holes in the hulls of ships. It had a face mask, goggles and two tubes that led to a diving bell so you could breathe. It had metal parts to reduce the pressure in deep waters. It was even equipped with ropes and weapons, and a urine pouch so you can stay underwater longer! If only modern wetsuits had this function.
Mobile Diving Submarine
Money can make a man do crazy things, such as build a one-man submarine. Treasure seekers constructed this diving machine to hunt for $3 million in a shipwreck. Invented by the Wiley family in the 1930s the diving bell could withstand high pressures. The device had long tongs that was controlled by a man inside. The mechanical arm could clamp onto objects and search the ocean bed for gold nuggets.
Do you know any strange diving inventions we missed off our list?