One of the most outstanding examples of human folly and stupidity is that which sees them deliberately leaping headfirst, or by a variety of other counter-intuitive entry methods, back into the ocean seemingly trying to return to the distant womb of their evolution.
It is quite obvious to the casual contented landlubber that people who have more completely evolved from primitive life forms find no requirement to ever again stick their heads back under water into a diluted sludge of brine, fish excrement, ship bilgewater, human sewage and industrial waste.
Had we been intended to do this, God in Her wisdom would have provided us with gills or blow holes with which to breathe, and an osmotic filth-extraction organ to return our cellular structure to a condition of homeostasis afterwards.
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The majority of inventions and innovations are a result of at least one of the following five drivers.
Peruvian Indians started all this returning-to-the-sea nonsense 4000 years ago by diving for mussels on the ocean floor.
The original shellfish discovery was accidentally made by a village lunatic named Enrico Flotsam.
Enrico had a series of vivid dreams repeated nightly for more than a month, about a tribe of lonely young women who were in deep distress and showing telltale signs of anticipatory horniness whilst awaiting his arrival on an island called Oahu, somewhere out there in the deep blue sea. Dressed in nothing more than grass hula-skirts, an entire bevy of them were gathering at Koko Head every morning at sunrise, looking towards the Southeast and chanting in unison;
“Enrico, Enrico, wherefore art Thou Enrico, adorable Son of Flotsam”.
The repetitious scenario was driving him even more insane, so he hotfooted it down to Global Llama Hire (South America Inc) and inquired if they had an amphibious model available for immediate rental, whereupon the receptionist professionally replied “No Sir, we don’t have any left today” before suggesting that maybe he should resume taking his prescribed medication.
Not to be deterred, he immediately strutted down the beach at Chimbote, fully equipped with desperation, unmedicated confidence, navigational and pre-Archimedial ignorance, intending to jog his way along the sea bed until he got all the way to Hawaii.
Sadly, after trekking just a few metres underwater, his toes lost traction, and buoyancy popped him back up to the ocean surface like a rubber duckie in a bathtub, but not before he’d accidentally grabbed a handful of mussels on the way up.
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Diving in the Aegean Sea developed simultaneously but independently of the South American experience.
Because of the underwater limitations of the human lung, “water bladders” were fashioned from goat and pig skins to hold an air supply. The skins were sewn-up and waterproofed with oil, leaving a single breathing hole into which the diver’s snout could be inserted for a breath of putrescent but nevertheless life-saving air.
Eventually dives of even greater duration were made possible by using bladders made from elephant hides, and significantly greater depths were achievable after Pepe the Adventurer came back from Africa in 1985BC with a single souvenir giraffe skin.
The name for this self-contained underwater breathing apparatus is an acronym derived from Simple Contraption for Unexpected Breathless Asphyxiation.
Aqualung technology uses portable bottles of compressed air strapped to the diver’s back.
It enables human lemmings to die not only from shark attack and drowning, but also from the bends and narcosis, the latter being the peculiar tendency of divers at depth to become intoxicated with their own stupidity and oxygen imbalance, before succumbing to an irresistible urge to remove their mouthpieces in order to give passing fish some of their air to breathe.
The original Homo sapiens blueprint specified that optimal performance could be achieved under standard conditions of air pressure, which, at sea level is 15 lbs per square inch.
Pressure at 1000 feet of ocean depth is 500 lbs per square inch, and at the deepest part of the ocean 7 tons per square inch, which is like really really heavy shit, man, and if you mess wif it you gonna DIE!
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The Bucket acknowledges that no studious historical dissertation such as this about undersea diving would be complete without genuinely paying tribute to the French explorer and SCUBA inventor Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
His extraordinary heroism, vision, and contribution to human knowledge during his lifetime must surely rank him amongst the greatest scientists and adventurers of the 20th century.
Cousteau operated from his floating laboratory boat Calypso, as well as constructing underwater Conshelf Stations in both France and the Red Sea which enabled humans to live for extended periods on the ocean floor studying the marine environment, thus enabling mankind to shine a light for the very first time on the wonders of the deep.