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Updated by racheldawson1987 on Nov 26, 2018
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Unique ‘Did You Know’ Facts About Snorkelling & Diving!

Do you know the interesting facts and trivia, including the history behind snorkelling and diving? Care to make a guess on how old snorkelling and diving is? You might be surprised by the answer!

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Did You Know? Snorkelling and diving is like cycling!
You have the fear of failing at first (more like drowning), but then you love it so much, you never want it to end! One of the best places to learn snorkelling is at nature’s very own coral reef playground, the Great Barrier Reef where there are multiple options for snorkelling cruise tours. At the Great Barrier Reef you get to choose either a snorkelling tour or a fully-kitted scuba diving tour into the depths of the ocean.

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Did You Know? People started diving & snorkelling over 2900 years ago!
Aristotle in his major text on biology ‘Parts of Animals’ proposes the idea of using a long tube to breathe underwater, like an elephant’s trunk, which is the basic concept of modern day snorkelling. This was around the 300 BC, but there is proof of rudimentary snorkelling equipment being used from 3000 BC onwards. Skin divers used hollow reeds to breathe underwater while they collected sponges from the Mediterranean Sea. They were used for industrial purposes and not for recreation like a present day Great Barrier Reef snorkelling tour.


Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling & Diving

If you are looking to explore the Great Barrier Reef a snorkelling tour is the more budget-friendly option and suitable for beginners to find their feet in the water, before moving onto diving. Some prefer snorkelling to diving as you aren’t burdened by the heavy tanks and equipment. You also needn’t worry about decompression sickness (also called bends).
Snorkelling will also appeal to all ages and a snorkel vest will help you float. The included mask in the kit will let you keep the eyes open to look underwater and observe the marine life in their natural habitat and admire the corals. Most off all, you will appreciate the freedom that snorkelling gives, it’s just you peering into a unique underwater world that is home to over a variety of aquatic life!


Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling & Diving (Continued)

There is an interesting incident involving snorkelling in the 500 BC, when a Greek soldier used a hollow reed to breathe underwater, swimming nine miles to be amongst the Persian fleet, cutting them free of the moorings and spoiling their attack plans.

The first instances of diving can be seen in the 900 BC, where divers in Assyria started using animal skins filled with air to use during their dives. Inventors turned their attention to a diver’s bell which traps a pocket of air for divers to come up and replenish while underwater. Persians had come up with dive goggles by the 1300s, made by thinly slicing tortoise shells and polishing it for optimum visibility. Forward to the 1400s when Da Vinci proposed air tanks, diving tubes and a diving suit with webbed-gloves, an early prototype of the modern day diving suit.


Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling & Diving (Continued)

As the exploration, trade and commerce took off, ships became a popular means of transportation and with it came shipwrecks. An efficient diving solution became the need of the hour to explore shipwrecks.

By the 1700s, wooden paddles (plastic or rubber hadn’t been in popular use yet) were made so swimmers can move faster through the water. A breakthrough was achieved in 1771 with the invention of the air pump, helping divers go deeper with the help of pressurised tubes to breathe even in those depths. Modern fins and waterproof goggles came later.

Fast forward to the modern era, with the development of modern materials like rubber, silicone and plastic, the rough elements could be smoothed out eliminating niggles and bugs, to create the present day almost fool-proof snorkelling and diving equipment.


Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Discover Australia’s World Heritage Listed coral gardens with top Great Barrier Reef day tours and cruises from Cairns. Book your Great Barrier Reef cruise now!