This week in our Time Travel series, we’re descending through the history of diving.
The earliest forms of free diving emerged in the Mediterranean and were implemented for commercial purposes. Over time diving skills were transposed to salvaging goods from wrecked ships and scouting barricades in naval wars.
The modern diving bell’s 16th century debut started a movement towards developing technology that could keep divers safer and underwater for longer periods of time. Fully enclosed diving suits were designed in the 18th century, and successful diving helmets were developed in the early 19th century. The following century brought both open and closed-circuit scuba systems.
Recreational scuba diving swelled in the 1940s and 1950s with the invention of the Aqua Lung and wetsuit. In 1960, the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI Worldwide) formed, providing standards for diving programs and instructors and widely increasing the public’s interest in recreational diving. Today, there are millions of recreational divers worldwide, and dive tourism is steadily rising.
Flip through the gallery above to see how diving has progressed over thousands of years.
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Travel’s News Editor.