Scuba diving may be a trendy activity these days, but did you know that this popular sport has a long history?
Breathing underwater has been important to humans for centuries, as our ancestors sought ways to collect food and gather artifacts from beneath the surface of the sea. The ancient Greek writer Herodotus told of Scyllis, a sailor who used a reed to breathe underwater as he cut the moorings of enemy ships during a naval campaign.
Over time, scientists invented devices that would become critical to modern scuba diving. For example, Italian Guglielmo di Loreno developed the first diving bell in 1535, and German scientist Otto von Guericke developed the first air pump in 1650.
Modern recreational scuba diving began to flower in the 1950s, ten years after the world-famous French explorer Jacques Cousteau and engineer Emile Gagnan worked together to invent the Aqua-Lung, the first successful rebreathing device and the diving regulator used for the first scuba equipment. The Silent World, a documentary co-directed by Cousteau and Louis Malle, sparked widespread interest in the underwater world.
Given the sport’s popularity, John Cronin and Ralph Erickson decided to establish a professional organization to certify instructors and regulate diving courses. Their organization, PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), now has over 6,000 dive shops and resorts worldwide.
Now that you know the history of scuba diving, why not book a beginner’s class? If you’re in the DC area and are ready to book a scuba class, call SPE Dive School today at 301-657-2266. We have the best scuba dive lessons and certification in the area and we can’t wait to help you find your passion!