Scuba diving is a technical activity. A lot of training, learning, and practicing is involved when trying to get certified or even when taking a Scuba Try It course. But even with so much information to learn, safety precautions to be aware of, and equipment double checks, there are a lot of fun and interesting facts about scuba diving and the ocean.
Scuba diving is a great way to learn more about the ocean and a different environment. Be sure to check out Atlantic Edge Scuba for our course list and sign up to start your scuba adventure!
First of all, let’s go over the basics. Scuba is not just a word, it is an acronym. SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. While this is not the most interesting of facts, it will make you think what is actually being said when someone says they are going scuba diving.
Scuba diving can be scary for many reasons. People are scared of the water and sea creatures, or they feel like they won’t be able to breathe. Some might also be worried they may get trapped, lost, or disoriented, and even start panicking. Scuba diving may be scary at first, but that’s why there are such extensive lessons and training, so that these situations can be avoided.
In fact, scuba diving is safer than driving, skydiving, playing golf and soccer, and marathon running. This is in relation to the number of participant in each activity. But according to Scuba Diver Life, the fatality rate for scuba diving is one in 211,846 dives. Whereas for marathon runners, the fatality rate is one in 126,626. So stop running and start diving!
Another fear that causes a lot of people to reconsider their interests in scuba diving is a run in with a shark. Sharks scare a lot of people and that is very understandable. But sharks don’t kill as many people as you may think. Lightning and falling coconuts kill more people each year than sharks do, so while finding a shark on a dive may be concerning, standing under a coconut tree during a lightning storm is even more concerning, and dangerous.
Much like space, we don’t know as much about the ocean as you may think. This mysterious ecosystem is hard to study due to its great depths. But what are some of the things we don’t know about the ocean?
For starters, we aren’t sure how many creatures there actually are living in this amazing environment. It is estimated that there are over two million marine species in existence, we only know of 230,000 species. That means there are a ton of unknown organisms living in the ocean, approximately 1,770,000 unknowns live in the depths of the sea.
We aren’t even sure what the ocean floor looks like. Only five percent of the ocean floor has been mapped out in detail, leaving 95 percent up to the imagination. As of now, the deepest known point in the ocean is called the Mariana Trench and is 6.8 miles below sea level. While that may not sound very deep, experienced scuba divers only go about 40 metres which is about 0.025 miles. Beginners generally go 18 metres, a whopping 0.011 miles. That makes 6.8 miles seem a lot more extreme. Another way to think about the ocean depth is comparing to the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest. Mount Everest is 5.5 miles tall.
At 3,300 feet, the only light in the ocean comes from the creatures that live there. The creatures that live at the bottom of the ocean glow in the dark by triggering a chemical reaction. Many of use these lights to attract prey. But how deep in the ocean do fish live? In 2014, the deepest living fish recorded was at 26,715 ft. That is about 5.05 miles. According to Dive In,this deep sea fish was nicknamed “ghost fish”, most likely due to it’s ghostly look. You can see a video of this strange fish from Popular Science! This wispy fish stole the record from a snailfish the lives about 8,000 metres deep.
Great Ocean Hiking
If the ocean were to dry up overnight, a lot of things would change. But let’s not focus on that. Let’s focus on the fact that there would be awesome hiking opportunities! The Mid Oceanic Ridge is the longest mountain chain in the world, measuring at 40,300 miles. This mountain chain joins up around the globe and the total length could wrap around Earth twice.
While Mount Everest would remain the tallest point on Earth, the tallest mountain is found in the ocean. Mauna Kea sits in the Pacific Ocean and measures at 6.8 miles tall, with a small portion of it stick out above sea level.
If the oceans did dry up, scuba diving would certainly not be as fun, and slightly impossible. So we will have to do without the awesome hiking opportunities for now and keep our precious ocean water!
Diving For Movies
A good movie involves research and hard work to make it as accurate as possible. To make the best movie about the ocean, you must get to know the ocean. And to make a movie about a shipwreck, you must study that shipwreck. This is just what the director of the “Titanic” did! With a total of 33 dives (totaling 462 hours) to the RMS Titanic wreck, the director, James Cameron has spent more time on the Titanic than any crewmember, passenger, or the captain.
The crew making “Finding Nemo” also took scuba diving courses in oceanography, marine biology, and more to get the best understanding of the ocean! No wonder why that animation looks so real!
The ocean is a strange, beautiful, and unknown place. Scuba diving is one of the best ways to explore this environment, learn about the creatures, and even make a movie! Atlantic Edge Scuba can help you fall in love with scuba diving and the ocean. Sign up for one of our courses today and contact us with questions!