In the 1300s is when man started building snorkels and then in the 1700s air pumps were invented. It really wasn’t until 1943 when Emile Gagnan and Jacques Cousteau invented the modern regulator and improved diving suits. Recreational diving is just under 70 years old. As are society grows and our technology – the more we get to learn about the ocean and it’s wonders.
Come 2010 – an American inventor claims to have invented a suit that turns man into fish. How is this possible?
Inventor Arnold Lande, a retired American heart and lung surgeon, has patented a special suit that would allow humans to breathe “liquid air.” The scuba suit would allow divers to inhale highly-oxygenated perfluorocarbons (PFCs) – a type of liquid that can dissolve enormous quantities of gas. The liquid would be contained in an enclosed helmet that would replace all the air in the lgs, nose and ear cavities.
The technology of liquid “breathing” has been tested. PFCs have been used to assist babies born prematurely in breathing and the U.S. Navy Seals experimented with this type of technology in the early 1980s.
“The first trick you would have to learn is overcoming the gag reflex,” explains Lande, “But once that oxygenated liquid is inside your lungs it would feel just like breathing air.” says Arnold Lande.
The CO2 that would normally exit our body when we breathe out, would be “scrubbed” from our blood by attaching a mechanical gill to the femoral vein in the leg.
By using oxygen suspended in liquid, divers would no longer have to worry about decompression sickness – the often fatal condition known as “the bends” which occurs when nitrogen dissolved in the blood under the immense pressures of deep water bubbles out as we rise. It could potentially allow divers to descend to far greater depths than is currently possible.
Currently the world record for the deepest scuba dive is just 318 meters (1043 ft) , accomplished in June of 2005 by South African diver Nuno Gomes. It actually took Gomes only 14 minutes to descend to that depth, but took him 12 hours to ascend to the surface. Had he ascended any quicker, he would likely have died from a condition called decompression sickness, or “the bends“.