Some Useful (and not so useful) Scuba Diving Facts….
Ever wondered what ‘SCUBA’ stands for, what is the deepest dive or how old you have to be to start scuba diving? Well we here at Crystal Dive on Koh Tao have put together a list of scuba diving facts for you to answer your scuba questions.
What does S.C.U.B.A stand for?
SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. It was originally referred to the equipment used by United States Special Forces frogmen during the World War 2. The term SCUBA is used to describe a system that allowed divers to go underwater without being connected to a surface air supply.
Who invented Scuba Diving?
It is commonly accepted that Jacques Cousteau was the ‘father of scuba diving’. In 1942 he and his partner Emilie Gagnan co-invented a demand valve regulator set which would supply divers with compressed air.
This set was called the Aqualung and opened the door of scuba diving to people who wished to explore the underwater world.
What is the deepest recorded scuba dive?
Ahmed Gabr is in the Guinness book of world records for completing a dive down to 332.35m (1.095 ft) in the red sea off the coast of Egypt. The former Special Forces army officer took 12 minutes to reach his maximum depth then spent 15 hours to return to the surface due to the many safety stops he had to make to ensure a safe dive and not run the risk of getting decompression illness.
For this dive Ahmed used Technical diving equipment. For recreational divers the usual maximum depth is 40m for deep specialty certified divers.
What is the longest recorded Scuba Dive?
Another Egyptian Walaa Hafez set the new record of 51 Hours and 10 minutes in June 2015 again in the Red Sea off Hurghada, Egypt. The dive was completed at a depth of 10m, even at this shallow depth Walaa a former Navy SEAL team leader had to contend with potential decompression illness and hypothermia over the course of the record attempt.
What is the highest dive site in the world?
Altitude diving is defined as a dive made 300 metres above sea level. It requires special training, to teach you the dive planning, special procedures and techniques that are adjusted at Altitude. The highest altitude scuba dive in the world has been made in on several occasions in a lagoon in the crater of Lincancabur, between the Chilean and Bolivian border at an altitude of 5,900 metres (19,357ft).
Johan Reinhard, of the Sea World Research Institute in San Diego led a team of scuba divers to make a series of dives there in 1982. Several others have since dived Lincancabur.
What is the largest fish in the sea?
The largest fish in the sea is the Whaleshark growing up to 12m in length and weigh as much as 40 tonnes. They are found in warm seas and can be commonly seen here at dive sites on Koh Tao, they feed on small organisms like plankton which they filter out of the water with their metre long mouths.
Remember that the Blue whale is a mammal not a fish!!
Where is the largest coral Reef?
The world’s largest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland Australia. It is that large it can be seen from space. The system itself is made up of 2,900 individual reefs to make the world’s biggest structure made by living organisms. It is listed as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
How old do you have to be to start scuba diving?
Children from the age of 8 can take part in Bubblemaker program to introduce them to scuba. Here in Koh Tao, the PADI Open water course is available for kids from the age of 10. The course and exams are exactly the same for a child as it is for an adult meaning you are never too old to become a diver.
Which training agency is the most popular?
PADI is the most universally recognised training agency in the world. They are responsible for awarding over 23,000,000 diving certifications. PADI has 136,000 professional members and has 6,200 dive centres registered to teach PADI courses.
In fact they are so popular, you will hear people say they want to ‘get my PADI‘ more often than ‘doing my open water’ these days!
PADI really is the way the world learns to dive!
And Finally, Did You Know?
Once you get below 10 metres depth, you can’t see red or yellow due to water absorbing light rapidly. If you cut yourself whilst underwater your blood will look blue!
Sound travels five times faster underwater than in air. This it almost impossible to establish where sound is coming from, as we rely on the time difference between the sound hitting one ear, before hitting the second ear to determine direction of the sound.
Coconuts are more dangerous than sharks! Many people who are considering taking up scuba diving have one fear. Sharks! A shark encounter (whilst we love to swim with sharks) is a fear for many considering taking up scuba diving on their Koh Tao vacation.
Yet with over 150 people killed annually by falling coconuts and approximately 10 by Sharks, the biggest danger by far on your dream holiday in the tropics is the falling coconuts.
Author: Neil Davidson (PADI MSDT #294100)