People everywhere are attracted to the
beauty of the underwater environment, especially now that humans can go to
a hundred feet below the surface with the help of scuba diving gear. If
you're looking for an ultimate adventure then scuba diving may be your
However, before you excitedly jump in bear in
mind that scuba diving poses some hazards. We have briefly covered
these but letís dig in and explore them further.
The most common of these are pressure
related injuries, such as decompression sickness or air embolism.
To avoid these injuries, you must be able to calculate how long you can
safely stay underwater. You also need to know the proper descent and
ascent rates, or else you might find yourself fatally inflicted with these
pressure related illnesses.
Most aquatic animals don't pose any
risks to divers. In fact, a diver may be a threat to them. For
example, coral could be killed by just one touch.
However, there are also a few marine
life forms that may injure a diver. The most common include
jellyfishes, stinging corals, fire corals, and sea urchins. Sharks
and poisonous sea animals can also injure divers, but very rarely.
Generally, animals attack humans only when they are
Although, there have been recorded
unprovoked shark attacks, the number is still few. Statistics show
that your odds of being attacked by one of these dangerous aquatic
animals are 1 in 12 million. Youíre more likely to be attacked by a
dog or a snake when youíre above water.
Scuba diving, being a visual
underwater experience, doesn't include altering the underwater
habitat. Divers shouldn't touch anything, be it a plant, animal or
an object underwater.
Usually, the best scuba diving location
is where there's plentiful marine life. Of course, it's an added
advantage for divers if the water is clear and the temperature warm.
That reveals the aquatic beauty clearly and is a better adjustment
to the underwater temperature.
We will look at specific diving
locations in an upcoming chapter, but briefly the most popular
diving destination is the Caribbean. The Caribbean coral reefs are
incredibly colorful and abound with marine life. Different types of
fish find shelter among these coral reefs. Most parts of the
Caribbean region have been designated to be marine sanctuaries thus
fishing and other human activities that could damage the marine life
Shipwreck sites are usually
considered off limits as well. Aside from providing
valuable treasure and clues to our rich history, these sunken ships
also provide aquatic animals an ideal nesting or breeding area.
These ships not only add beauty to the ocean floors, they also have
some utilitarian purposes for aquatic animals that live in deep
places where resources are very scarce.
It's been said that there are about
75,000 sunken ships in the North America area alone. These locations
also attract thousands of divers from around the world. Some hoped
to find buried treasures while others seek fame for having
discovered some important historical links. Still, several dive for
recreation purposes just to enjoy what the underwater environment
has to offer.
Other protected areas that are also
famous dive destinations are the South Pacific, Indian Ocean and the
Red Sea. The government and environment organizations try to
conserve the beauty of the habitat of these aquatic animals and
plants. Although these destinations are open for viewing and
recreational diving, enough marine police are assigned to ensure
that the divers abide by the conservation rules and
It's appropriate to raise these marine
conservation issues, especially now with our advanced technology.
Technology advancements mean a lesser concern for the environment.
Just take a look at whatís above sea level. There are high-rise
buildings and large factories that contribute to
Currently, mankind is slowly able to
invade the depths of the ocean, as well. In fact, submersibles now
allow humans to go into the deepest parts of the oceans. Marine
biologists, geologists, archaeologists and scientists are using such
technology to enable them to stay in the ocean for long periods of
time so they can learn more in their fields of study.
Who knows what the near future has in
store for deep water exploration?