If you find yourself (virtually) touring along Interstate 40 in the US, you might think it odd to find Santa Rosa, New Mexico calls itself "the City of Natural Lakes." Look around the town and you'll see a number of small lakes in a dry desert landscape (Google maps). Look more closely, and you'll see a rather small dark spot labeled "Blue Hole" (Google maps).The name or term may sound familiar, as it's a general name for an inland cave or underwater sinkhole, with other blue holes of varying scale and renown. This particular blue hole is one of three diving sites in New Mexico, which is a mere 60 feet across but 81 feet deep. What's on the bottom? The short answer is: a grate. The long answer: we're still not really sure, because the passageway beyond the grate is full of debris and large rocks.
This Is What Happens To Your Heart When You Dive Into The Sea
Human blood has a chemical composition 98% similar to seawater. An infant will reflexively breaststroke when placed underwater and can comfortably hold his breath for about 40 seconds, longer than many adults. We lose this ability only when we learn how to walk.
Gil Koplovitz took pictures of a strip club called the Nymphas Show Bar. One small detail: he did it while he was scuba diving off the coast of Israel.
The Lady of Orda Cave Two-time world champion free diver Natalia Avseenko ventures deep into Ordynskaya Cave in Perm, Russia, one of the longest and biggest underwater gypsum caves in the world. She dressed as the mythical Lady of the Cave, a spirit who protects divers inside the “natural cathedral”. Orda Cave previously.
Whales off Maui Divers encounter a group of humpback whales (slyt).
Today it is an economic and even geopolitical necessity for oil companies, in order to maintain pipelines and offshore rigs, to send divers routinely to depths of a thousand feet, and keep them at that level of compression for as long as a month at a time. The divers who do this work are almost entirely male, and tend to be between the ages of twenty-five and forty. Were they any younger, they would not have enough experience or seniority to perform such demanding tasks. Any older, and their bodies could not be trusted to withstand the trauma. The term for these extended-length descents is “saturation diving,” which refers to the fact that the diver’s tissues have absorbed the maximum amount of inert gas possible.
About 800 meters (a half mile) above sea level is Grüner See (Google maps), or Green Lake, fairly centrally located in Austria. Named for the emerald green color of the lake, which is the setting for nice hiking trails, camping and fishing in the fall and early spring when the water is lowest (Google auto-translate, original Austrian site), and a popular cold water diving location in the late spring through summer as snow melts and increases the water depth up to 12 meters (~ 40 ft), submerging trees for a few months, allowing you to swim around park benches, over hiking trails and past fish (Vimeo | more videos).
"Local marine experts believed the problem could be solved only if it could be determined why the sharks were venturing so close to the beaches. This meant finding someone with the knowledge, expertise, and courage to spend an extended period of time in the water with the animals themselves, unraveling the mystery. They called Belgian Fred Buyle, the world's foremost shark tagger, a gifted free-diver able to hold his breath for seven minutes and swim to depths below 300 feet." Meet The Shark Whisperer [more inside]
Raising the Dead:'At the bottom of the biggest underwater cave in the world, diving deeper than almost anyone had ever gone, Dave Shaw found the body of a young man who had disappeared ten years earlier. What happened after Shaw promised to go back is nearly unbelievable—unless you believe in ghosts.'
Swimming on the Hot Side: An elite team of nuclear divers are risking their lives to help save a troubled industry. The Life of a Nuclear Diver
Director James Cameron is currently 32,160 feet underwater and descending further, solo, to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. [more inside]
At 300 feet, the pressure is so extreme that your lungs shrink to the size of oranges and your heart beats at less than half its normal rate to conserve oxygen. You lose some motor control. Most of the blood in your arms and legs has flooded to your body’s core as the vessels in your extremities constrict. Vessels in your lungs swell to several times their normal size so they won’t be crushed by the incredible pressure. Then comes the really hard part. [Open Your Mouth and You're Dead]
Fishing under ice (single link Vimeo post)
The first scientific diving expedition in the Dead Sea has found freshwater springs on the seafloor, along with carpets of micro-organisms. The saltiest body of water on Earth is still dropping three feet every year.
Like a "modern-day pirate," 75-year-old Ray Ives has been diving for sunken treasure for decades. Wearing an ancient, bronze-helmeted diving suit, he searches the ocean floor and keeps a huge collection of marine salvage (including antique cannon balls, 'bottles, bells, swords, portholes and diving gear') in a shipping container "museum" at a British marina.
Ray: A Life Underwater: Vimeo / YouTube. (A short film documentary.) [more inside]
Ray: A Life Underwater: Vimeo / YouTube. (A short film documentary.) [more inside]
First we started with planking, then owling, and then it go so hot we just dove in. We're all familiar with planking. (Some tragically so.) An obvious exponent would be owling (even by celebrities! and more celebrities!) Now we're leisure diving.
Russian divers working for the Orda Cave Awareness Project have revealed stunning images of the world's longest underwater cave.
"ALL U-BOATS. ATTENTION ALL U-BOATS. CEASE-FIRE AT ONCE. STOP ALL HOSTILE ACTION AGAINST ALLIED SHIPPING. DÖNITZ." [more inside]
Venturing into a cave more than a few steps can induce intense psychological pressure and strange sensory phenomenon. Werner Herzog's latest film, Cave of Forgotten Dreams (trailer) shot in 3D inside Chauvet Cave in southern France suggests that our compulsion for this experience is shared with many ancient cultures, such as those at Chavin de Huantar, that may have included exploitation of the acoustic properties of caves. We continue to descend into inner spaces, increasingly with high-tech equipment. [more inside]
Shallow diver breaks world record for paddling pool jump. "A US shallow diver has broken his own world record by swan-diving 36ft (11m) into a paddling pool containing just 12in (30.5cm) of water. Darren Taylor, also known as Professor Splash, dived into a pool of near-freezing water in Trondheim, Norway, making the jump his 13th Guinness certified record. Mr Taylor, who is from Colorado in the US, has 25 years' professional high-diving experience and works as a stunt diver." Via: BBC
Agnes Milowka, vivacious and courageous cave diver, was found dead last week in Australia's Tank Cave. [more inside]
Want to create a video of a steady stream of divers simultaneously using the 10 and 3-metre platforms at the diving pool? Get a lot of fellows together, or just Fake It (SLYT; 3.43). Original site (Japanese).
Meet Agnes Milowka, cave diver. She does things that I, for one, only have nightmares about. [more inside]
Lake Kaindy is a lake in Kazakhstan that was created after a huge landslide. A portion of the surrounding forest was submerged, and has since become regionally famous for its underwater trees. The coolest pictures, by far, are from the guys who went ice diving in the middle of winter.
One of the least edifying aspects of professional football [soccer] is the dive. Is it just part of the game, or something that, ahem, foreigners do? In 2006 FIFA rejected the use of video evidence to punish cheaters and although "simulation" is punished, when spotted by the referee, the problem remains. In the wake of (among others) a dodgy red card to Brazilian star Kaka in the 2010 World Cup, here's a handy guide to some of the best/worst dives about (inside) and how to tell when a player is faking it. [more inside]
Underwater Basejumping. That is all.
Rising up from deep within the aquifer, cool clear water flows from hundreds of springs that dot the Florida landscape. Florida springs are natural wonders that are threatened constantly. [more inside]
Divers [have been] spooked by tales of assault as swarms of aggressive jumbo flying squid invade the shallows off San Diego. No, not the return of Cthulhu; it's just a swarm of Humboldt squid. Here's a rather long talk with video images by one of the world's experts on these vicious nightmares.
"To pedal the 3700 kilometres of open water from Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa to Barbados in the Caribbean should take around 50 days..." Engineer and machinist Ted Ciamillo has built a human powered mini-submarine, designed around a larger version of his Lunocet carbon-fibre "tail" for divers, for an Atlantic Ocean crossing.... The "SubHuman project".
Three summers ago, Pascal Bernabe strapped on a scuba tank, stepped off a boat and descended 330 meters into the Mediterranean. This is his account of the dive. [more inside]
At the Beijing Olympics this summer there is a camera that follows divers through the air until they hit the water's surface in glorious high-definition. The DiveCam was originally invented by Garrett Brown, the inventor of the Steadicam, and was first used in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. What new technology made this innovation possible? The power of gravity and pulleys.
Wearing an old-fashioned diving suit, William "Diver Bill" Walker worked in 14 feet of murky water beneath Winchester Cathedral, digging out the old timber and peat foundations and replacing them with bags of concrete cement and concrete blocks. Staying underwater six hours per day for five years (1906-1911), Diver Bill moved 25,800 bags of concrete and laid 114,900 concrete blocks, saving the Norman building from certain collapse. [more inside]
Seventy four years ago, something happened off La Jolla Shores, California, that changed the world of ocean recreation forever. An invitation-only group of watermen, the Bottom Scratchers became the founding fathers of free diving. Although the club would eventually grow to only 20 members, the men did everything they could to grow the sport and teach others how to spear fish, keep a good spear gun or get lobsters and abalone on breath-held dives.
And here I am kicking my own legs like a sucker. From DEKA Research the folks that made the Segway and DARPA the little defense department that could (bomb you) comes Power Swim which uses an oscillating foil to develop vortices that...uh, it makes you go faster in the water. Some pictures, here. [more inside]
Having served as a troop transport in WWII, a luxury liner, and a sea cadet training vessel, the Texas Clipper will come to her final resting place tomorrow as part of an artificial reef in the Texas Gulf. During preparations for sinking, a long lost mural (1 2 3 4) by Saul Steinberg, best known for his work at The New Yorker, was rediscovered hidden behind wallpaper and paint and saved from a watery grave.
Spectacular video of cage diving with Great White Sharks in Guadalupe, Mexico. More movies and pictures of the Great White Shark.
Oil Rig Disasters--Deadliest, most expensive, blowouts, sinkings. Building a rig. Barrels of rig pictures. NOAA's archive of spill pictures. ROVs, rigs, vessels. All kind of Canadian rig (and related) pictures. More.
In the August edition of Outside Magazine, Tim Zimmerman chronicles the story of divers Deon Dreyer and Dave Shaw. Dreyer, a 20-year-old experienced diver, died in 1994 while exploring Bushman's Cave in Boesmansgat, South Africa, the third deepest cave in the world. In October 2004, Dave Shaw, while diving to the bottom of Bushman's Cave, discovered the body of Deon Dreyer and, tying a line to him, promised to recover the body for Dreyer's family. A few months later, in January 2005, Shaw died in the attempt, unintentionally filming his own death. Both bodies have since been recovered.
Friday Fun Might as well be Friday, really, especially in Texas where we're shutting down the state due to snow. Here's a fun, free online game where you can make penguins dive all day long without getting tired (you OR them). Highly reminiscent of playing too hard for too long doing the same thing over and over when you were a kid, except you don't have to wait for your turn. Or come home in wet, cold clothes crying. You're Everypenguin.
The art of ZenScuba, as practiced by The Zen Diving Organization. Cute. I like the MahaGamera Mandala.