Underwater World, a fascinating history

Whether for military or rescue, hunting for pleasure, the need that man has sense to dive under the sea surface goes back to medieval times.

Nobody knows for certain when the man dived for the first time, however, for various writings of classical historians shows that were back in the V century BC

One of the first authentic documents proving the existence of diving dates back to the mandate of the great military strategist Alexander. The same is reported as Alexander the Great, for military purposes, employed divers to remove objects that had been sunk to obstruct the passage in the port of Tire, which took in 332 BC, after a siege.

Several documents also testify that during the first century BC There was a flourishing industry for the recovery of sunken objects in the main ports of the eastern Mediterranean. Business was so well organized that the law provided for a salary scale commensurate with divers depth at which they operate. As you might imagine, then used those flat stones that served as guides to lead weights and the diver during the descent, usually at a depth of twenty-and thirty-one meters.

Path to success

But soon all the divers had to manage to find a method that would allow them to stay underwater longer than lung capacity allowed. At first, hollow reeds were used, but the divers could only descend to reach the depth where the reeds. The main use made of this plantation was in the wars in order to soldiers to cross the river without being spotted.

Later, two Britons, Edmund Halley around 1690 along with four men demonstrated the efficacy of his invention “Halley’s bell,” which enables divers to remain underwater for an hour and a half at a depth of eighteen feet, and in 1715 John Lethbridge, designed a “barrel of breath leather lining inside which was a diver and had a glass window to see two openings with waterproof sleeves for the arms that allowed divers to work underwater. The latter has been remarkably successful and large numbers of objects recovered from shipwrecks. Nevertheless, both inventions were suffering from the same limitations: the lack of maneuverability and the inability to continually provide fresh air.

At that time there were many researchers who, fueled by the lucrative business that involved retrieving objects from shipwrecks, experimented with very similar innovations. Augustus Siebe is given credit for being the inventor of the first wetsuit full length raincoat, known by the name of “diving suit of Siebe” around 1840. This suit is the direct precursor of today. It became the benchmark for all submarine operations in the British navy.

In 1878, Henry Fleuss invented the first self-contained closed circuit apparatus used commercially. It is the predecessor of the equipment used by combat divers today. As used 100% oxygen, lower volumes were needed to breathe and eliminated the need to produce bottles of very strong light. However, this system will soon posed difficulties, because at that time was unknown to the outside pressure pure oxygen toxicity. Problem was solved when World War I broke out, as it had added a customized regulatory demand for air bottles were invented oxygen capacity to hold more than 20 bars. As a result, the autonomous system of closed circuit HF became the usual rescue team of Royal Navy submarines.

Time passed and, despite attempts Leprieur commander, a French naval officer, to manufacture a self-contained open circuit breathing through a reinforced bottle of compressed air, the spotlight remained focused on the development of equipment divingapparatus despite the practical limitations and the constant danger of oxygen poisoning.

During World War II, we used closed circuit equipment, but were two Frenchmen, a naval officer and an engineer who developed a self-contained open-circuit system. CaptainJacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gegner, despite working under the constraints of occupied France, took a giant step in the advancement of diving by inventing the first self-contained open-circuit system safe and effective. It was they who created the first scuba, that Cousteau used successfully to descend up to sixty yards without any negative effects.

After the war, scuba became a commercial success. As a result of the convenience and ease of diving offered by open-circuit equipment, recreational diving has become one of the hottest sports around the world. It also has enabled geologists, biologists and underwater archaeologists as well as a large number of scientists and researchers, exploring and exposing some of the many mysteries that keeps the sea.