About 70% of our wonderful planet’s surface is covered by the ocean. And us, entitled earth dwellers, have yet to explore about 95% of it. That means an entire world of species of plants and fishes have yet to be discovered. For all we know, somewhere deep into the ocean fishes have developed a complex political and economic system, dream of exploring the lands above the waters someday while conservative crabs with Jamaican accents try to convince them otherwise and sassy big-boned octopuses perform life altering surgical augmentations. Hey, you can’t prove me otherwise.
Thing is though, we have explored at least 5% of the ocean, and putting it into context it’s still quite a lot. The colourful, eccentric, dangerous and straight up baffling species of marine life discovered should not be shrugged off in the face of the big picture. And while we still have a lot of time before complete domination of the oceanic domain, many of the sites and species discovered are free to be explored and the clear, construction free, unhindered sights of the water ready to be traversed through snorkelling, or if you want to go deeper, scuba diving.
Scuba diving does require a lot of practice and skill but the reward make sit kind of worth it. Swimming in any context exerts force on your body and is one of the best forms of exercises. When you scuba dive, you tend to go deeper into the water which means greater natural pressure from all sides and on your lungs. As a result you are forced to use more strength than you would to move, to dive deeper and even to simply stay afloat. Because you try to move against the resistance of the water, you develop strength, flexibility and endurance. The controlled nitrogen that builds up in your body increases you metabolism for up to 18 hours after you’re done invading the privacy of sea dwellers. All of this adds up to produce a nice healthy dose of improved blood circulation and lower blood pressures.
Rolling in the deep can be curiously educational experience, just with less cranky teachers and papers and with more fun. One thing you can experience if you are lucky is called the “martini effect” or more boringly termed “nitrogen narcosis”. It is caused by the anaesthetic effect of certain gases at the pressure of greater depths and is exactly as awesome as it sounds. You basically get high on life, and should probably get help as soon as you do but still. Fish behaviour is more unexpected than you thought, mainly because your grandmother’s aquarium is not good study material. There are fishes will kill you if you look at them wrong, like the crown-of-thorns starfish that looks deceptively adorable but has earned that name. And then there are fish that look like a nightmare being realised but all they want is a little bit of love, like the moray eel, which would cuddle and befriend you if you were nice enough to them.
The moral of the story is that scuba diving is one of those activities which not only you can brag about, but also has health benefits on the side of being absolutely eye-opening. With newly made friends who can’t physically report you and plant life that are probably private property of the friends you just forced your friendship on, you’ll see why it so much better, down where it’s wetter under the sea.
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