Background History of Snorkeling - What is Snorkeling?

Brief History of the Snorkel Tube

The bygone history of snorkeling and the snorkel tube in particular, dates back many centuries ago - in fact as early as 3000 Years B.C.

Ancient sponge farmers used a hollow reed to breathe through while diving down and swimming over water.

Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, recalled instances of divers breathing through a device similar to the trunk of an elephant.

In later years, the Assyrians developed an alternative snorkel device. They filled animal skins with air to breathe from when they were under water.

The diving bell was overseen by Alexander the Great. This invention contained air bubbles for divers to inhale.

The credit for the first contemporary snorkel goes to Leonardo Da Vinci. His hollow-tube creation was designed to be attached to the diver’s leather head covering or helmet.

The same concept allows modern-day snorkelers to breathe air from the surface with their face submerged under water for long periods of time. The snorkeling history eventually developed into present day 'scuba'

Nowadays, the advances in rubber and plastic composite materials have significantly improved their function and use. Nowadays, most popular snorkels are J-shaped plastic tubes connected by a flexible strap or clip assembly to the diver's mask or swim goggles.

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What is Snorkeling Today?

Snorkeling Tube HistoryModern day snorkeling is recreational activity that is a relatively safe alternative to SCUBA for looking down through the mask and breathing through the tube so that you can observe the sea life mysteries below the surface of our oceans.

It is generally meant to be easy, fun, and a relaxing swimming or skin diving experience.

Popular spots to snorkel are shallow beach or island sites that offer clear and calm water.

The gear that we use for open sea swimming underwater should be comfortable and practical. The basic equipment is relatively cheap to buy, and it is usually small and light enough to take with you on snorkeling holidays.

The standard snorkel set is a dive mask, a snorkel tube, and a pair of dive fins or flippers. Masks needs to be a secure fit to avoid water entering inside and the breathing tube should be safely attached to the mask.

Dive fins will help you move through the water but can be awkward and cumbersome for people who don’t know the correct fin-kicking technique. Other accessories may include a flotation vest for additional buoyancy and a wet suit for cold water activities.

Minimal swimming skills are required by beginner snorkelers and non-swimmers. You should have some comfort in the water and in good health, but most snorkelers can get by without any unnecessary expensive equipment and training.

Ideally, you should search for spots that have low currents and calm surface conditions with clear visibility. Shallow coral reefs and rock pools are usually the best places because they attract small colorful fishes and aquatic diversity.

Note: Snorkelers should be aware of an increased risk of sunburn especially in tropical regions. Use a high factor water-resistant sun block applied to your neck and shoulders. Wear an appropriate anti UV vest, wetsuit or a t-shirt.