Seventy-one percent of Earth’s surface is covered in water. Beneath the azure blanket of the Earth lie caverns, crevices, and ocean plains teeming with life. For many an adventurous soul, exploring marine ecosystems in their scuba gear is a reason to get up in the morning. But if people were in the habit of leaving a good thing as is, we would have never ventured to put peanut butter on chocolate. So why not add a little something extra to your next underwater adventure?
While you may or may not know your stuff about marine biology and scuba gear, the odds are that you had no idea you could engage in these three exciting activities while submerged underwater.
Ride a scooter
The design of the underwater scooter, also known as the “Scuba Doo,” appears to be the result of someone who watched a diver flop around on land in a scuba suit and said to himself, “No. This is not nearly silly enough.”
As ridiculous as it may appear, the underwater scooter is effective and easy to use. The vehicle features an airtight dome that provides oxygen and a 180-degree view to passengers as they zip around the ocean floor. Training involves a 10-minute briefing, and then you’re off, making the vehicle ideal for people who want to explore the wonders of marine life but lack the requisite diving experience. Australians were early adopters of the technology and still offer tours of the Great Barrier Reef via Scuba Doo. So, if you don’t have a diving license, but you’re itching to scope out some marine life, the Scuba-doo is your newest (and maybe silliest) best friend.
Visit a museum
In the event that you do have a diving license and you’ve seen your fair share of the ocean floor, there’s a detour you may not have taken the last time you were in the Atlantic Ocean. While most divers seek out the depths in search of life untouched by human activity, the Museo Atlántico off the coast of the Spanish-owned Canary Islands takes a different twist on diving: It is Europe’s first underwater museum.
Featuring more than 300 sculptures by artist, diver, and naturalist Jason deCaires Taylor, Museo Atlántico blends the fantastic, the divine, and the macabre. Pieces feature everything from men playing on a see-saw to Atlas shouldering the world, to a human gyre of more than 200 life-sized figures. The sculptures are made from high-density, pH-neutral concrete so that they don’t pose an ecological threat to the marine ecosystems. Rather, a number of the pieces have been extensively colonized by the local fauna.
Play a game of hockey
A day at the museum isn’t for everyone. And if risking your safety to territorial wildlife, pressure changes, and freak accidents isn't enough of a rush, why not throw some competitive team sports into the mix? The good news is that you’re not the only person to venture down this line of thinking.
Full disclosure: Underwater hockey doesn’t occur deep within the Mariana Trench. It is played in Olympic pools. Teams gear up in sets of goggles and flippers — without oxygen tanks, so you better be good at holding your breath. The puck is released into the center of the pool, and the game plays out similarly to its land-based variety. Players try to hit the puck to a goal at the opposite end with a 12-inch stick, returning to the surface for air when necessary. Believe it or not, underwater hockey is a popular sport in 36 different countries.