Myths of Scuba Diving

Since Erica and I became PADI certified, many people have asked us to confirm/deny rumors and myths that they’ve often heard about regarding scuba diving. Because of the sheer volume of these requests, I figured it would be best to answer all these questions at once in a post.

So, without further ado, here are some of the most common myths associated with scuba diving and the reality behind each one:

MYTH: Sharks will eat you.

  • Only if you’re weak. And bleeding. And they’re hungry. Not to mention, evolution gave us a natural shark repellent. They are called fists. If you are weak and bleeding and there is a hungry shark swimming at you, put up your dukes and start repelling.

shark repellent
MYTH: You will be crushed by the pressure of the water if you dive too deep.

  • This is not true. The human body is over 90% water, which can’t be compressed by more water. This is also the reason your mother told you not to run with sharp objects.

MYTH: You can ride on the backs of giant seahorses.

  • Sorry, but this isn’t possible. However, riding in their pouch is a different story.

MYTH: Carrying 2000 lbs of air on your back will break your legs.

  • 2000 lbs of anything is heavy. This is why Scuba divers put air in magical cylinders that were created by mermaid scientists.

MYTH: Sound travels 4x faster underwater.

  • Actually, this is absolutely true. Crabby and I verified it with speed metal.

MYTH: Puking underwater is not fun.

  • Puking underwater is an issue that has plagued divers since the invention of the Aqualung. Fish may love it when you hurl but blowing chunks into your regulator is not an enjoyable sensation. That is, until now…

MYTH: Nitrogen Narcosis is awesome.

  • Well, to be honest, we can’t say. Neither Erica or myself were lucky enough to be afflicted by the ‘raptures of the deep’ on any of our dives. However, we opted for the next best thing:


51 Responses to “Myths of Scuba Diving”

  1. Sanno September 21, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    Did you do all the artwork yourself?

    I liked this, I’ve read other bloggers who have informed us about diving myths and I have to say while very informative I have seen much shorter (and longer) versions with varying information yours tops them all with the humor 🙂

    • Sanno September 21, 2011 at 12:22 am #

      my keyboard sucks… it should say “Shannon” not sannon (my bad! This Asus keyboard is really killing me)

      • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

        @ Shannon – Thanks! I did do all the artwork. I too have seen quite a few myths of scuba posts elsewhere and wanted to do something different. Glad you enjoyed the humor!

        • Shannon September 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

          indeed this was different

          Oh! and I fixed my name too! 🙂

          cool I wanna do my own artwork for my blog… but I can’t be that good! 😀

  2. Pete September 21, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    Love the drawings! Is it common to puke when diving?

    • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

      @ Pete – I wouldn’t say that it’s common, per se, but it definitely happens quite a bit more than people realize. We only had one diver puke on any of our 13 dives. It is hilarious watching the fish swarm around and eat the vomit though. 😉

  3. Ali September 21, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Hilarious! And, um…..that seahorse’s “pouch” looks a little dirty….. Are you sure it’s what you think it is? 😉

    • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

      @ Ali – Hahah, that’s what they look like!! >_< Erica was giving me shit when I was drawing it so that's why her head ended up on it instead of mine.

  4. mugs September 21, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I can C that diving is really reshaping “your worlds” …maybe? BTW, if you guys are planning on making it to Colombia. Check out TAGANGA! an amazing Fishermans village with a funky beach and what’s best, A GREAT DIVE SPOT!!!!! BUEN VIAJE GUYS…love the illustrations BTW!

    • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

      @ Mugs – We will totally be going to Colombia, and Taganga sounds like a badass place to visit. Thanks for the recommendation! 😀

  5. mugs September 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    ALso to add to the shark mith, I’ve heard that sharks honestlly dont like the taste of Human flesh. After eating fish and sea animals in general all their lives, I can imagine its kind of like changing our diet to Pedigree chum dog food.

    • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

      @ Mugs – Lol, I could totally believe that.

  6. Emily in Chile September 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Haha, hilarious!

    • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

      @ Emily – Thanks!

  7. Sheryll September 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm #


    • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm #


  8. Dani | Globetrottergirls September 21, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    This post is hilarious!! Love the illustrations.

    • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

      @ Dani – Thanks!

  9. Talon (@1Dad1Kid) September 21, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    ROFL! AWESOME drawings!

    • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

      @ Talon – I think I need to look into getting a patent for the Pukemaster. What do you think? 😛

  10. Mica September 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Ahahaha so funny!!! We never got the nitro narcosis either. I waited for it….then nada. Mildy disappointed. Love the drawings!!

    • Shaun September 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

      @ Mica – We’re just going to have keep going deep until it happens. 😉

  11. Giulia September 22, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    LOL for the “shark repellent” tattoos 😀
    Honestly, even if I know that being eaten by a shark is very unlikely, that’s the main reason why I’ll never go diving – the idea of just seeing a shark around me scares the shhhh out of me!
    My father and brother are both PADI certified and all but I keep being the black sheep. Shame on me!
    Thumbs up for the drawings, I loved pic #2 😀

    • Shaun September 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

      @ Giulia – Oh, that’s a shame. I assume there is no way you’d want to come with us on Erica’s birthday dive with Bull Sharks then. 😉

      • Giulia September 27, 2011 at 10:03 am #

        Well… ehm… I could take pics from the boat…
        Or I could wait @ home and bake a delicious birthday cake. Deal? :p

        • Erica September 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

          @Giulia: I think you would have the time of your life! It is so incredibly inspiring to see a whole new world in front of you – one that you had no clue existed and was in front of your face!

  12. Reena @ Wanderplex September 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    This was hilarious, and I love the artwork (especially the “shark repellant”!)

    • Shaun September 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

      @ Reena – Haha, thanks! I totally want to make a shirt out of that picture! 😛

  13. Shaun September 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    @ Reena – Haha, thanks! I totally want to make a shirt out of that picture! 😛

  14. Heather September 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    I always love these drawing posts — laughs abound! Glad to see the crab and his hat made a repeat appearance 🙂

    • Shaun September 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

      @ Heather – I probably should have disclosed this in the post, but Crabby paid me $4 to be able to make another appearance on the blog. I just couldn’t say no once the cash was in my hand- although, the money did smell like lagoon.

  15. Tawny September 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Probably one of my favorite posts to date! You had me quite literally laughing out loud. The sketches are the icing on the cake. Hilarious!

    • Shaun September 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

      @ Tawny – Awesome! These types of posts are really fun to make so I’m really glad you enjoyed it! 😀

  16. Technosyncratic September 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    BUT. What if you’re weak and bleeding and they’re hungry and ALSO YOU DON’T HAVE FISTS?

    I rest my case. Sharks will eat you if you go diving.

    • Shaun September 26, 2011 at 12:52 am #

      @ Technosyncratic – Two words: robot arms.

  17. Sebastian September 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Great post Shaun! Love your drawings and your explanations! Keep up the work!

    • Shaun September 28, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      @ Sebastian – Thanks!!

  18. Stephanie - The Travel Chica September 28, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    So disappointed to hear about the seahorses.

    • Shaun September 28, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

      @ Stephanie – You and me both. I’m still weeping.

  19. dtravelsround September 28, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Brilliance in a post. Love it!!! I can’t wait to ride in a sea horse’s pouch.

    • Shaun September 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      @ D – There is no better reason to get scuba certified than that. 😀

  20. Nomadic Samuel September 29, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    LOL, this is hilarious; however, knowing my luck I likely would be eaten by a shark! 😛

    • Shaun September 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      @ Nomadic Samuel – Well, if you’re going to die then being eaten by a shark while scuba diving is quite the way to go! (Though VERY unlikely, even with your luck!)

  21. Raymond @ Man On The Lam September 29, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Great illustrations! Very funny!! 🙂

    • Shaun September 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

      @ Raymond – Thanks! <3

  22. Camels & Chocolate September 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Ha, I’ve been diving for five years and haven’t heard many of these. Love it, though, and the illustrations, too!

    • Shaun September 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

      @ C&C – What?!? You never wondered why people don’t ride around on the backs of seahorses or thought about how to make puking underwater more enjoyable? Hmm, maybe I’m just odd then. /shrug

  23. cailin October 2, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    hahaha amazing cartoons!!! The Oatmeal better watch out! 🙂

    • Shaun October 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

      @ Cailin – Thanks! Glad you liked it! ^^

  24. Emily @ Maiden Voyage October 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Bahahhaha…you guys are awesome. I am seriously freaked out about sharks! A dude in S. Africa was just badly bitten by a Great White. Then again, sharks had been sighted earlier and people were warned to stay away. This was hilarious 🙂

    • Shaun October 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

      @ Emily – A lot of people feel that same way, but it’s all relative. Way more people die from bee stings than shark attacks. You are much safer in the ocean than you are a botanical garden. 🙂

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