A whopping 14 million viewers were wowed by the groundbreaking docuseries, Blue Planet II, when it first aired in 2017, and people's fascination with all things ocean-related continues to grow, from Ocean Film Festivals popping up across the world to power-house brands creating fashion from the ocean's plastic pollution. But, there's nothing quite like seeing the magic of the underwater world with your own eyes. Whether you're on the fence, have a toe in the water or are passionate about taking the plunge, discover the top ten reasons why you should become a certified scuba diver...
1. You Will Discover a Whole New World
Whether you dreamt about becoming an archaeologist, marine biologist, explorer, photographer, or all the above, you can easily fulfill all your passions in diving. Covering over 70% of the world's surface, the ocean is an endless playground; see the most beautiful and fascinating creatures you never knew existed, hover over wrecks steeped in history and marvel at kaleidoscopic cities of coral - there is always something mind boggling to explore.
2. You Will Become Aquaman (or Woman)
To coin an old phrase, you really do have to see it to believe it, and becoming scuba certified is practically synonymous with becoming a POTO (Protector of the Ocean). From joining in on ocean initiatives to collecting rubbish on your dive, becoming a citizen scientist and so much more, you will be inspired to protect the ocean - an Aqua(wo)man, if you will.
3. You Will Become Part of a Community
From the buddy system (divers are always paired on a dive) to sharing a magical marine experience, there's nothing quite like diving for bringing people together. We may be biased, but the diving community is well known for being a friendly bunch and you will feel like you are part of one big fishy family. Before you know it, you will find yourself indulging in post-dive drinks and late evenings swapping stories about your favourite marine life and underwater discoveries.
4. You Will Learn a Secret Language
Not to be Captain Obvious, but it's impossible to talk underwater (bar from a few techy tools out there), ergo divers have their own secret language called scuba sign. The language is universal (read: no pesky language barriers) and covers everything from diving safety to the entire encyclopaedia of marine life - once you get a grip on it you can have the whole conversation underwater.
5. You Will Become Physically Fit
While we wouldn't treat it as our only form of exercise, there is no doubt that diving benefits your entire body. It is proven to lower blood pressure, improve blood circulation, increase the strength and flexibility of muscles and even burn calories; an average 60-minute shore dive can burn up to 600 calories an hour - similar to jogging but the pros of diving are you get to see the cool stuff.
6. You Will Become Mentally Fit
Fact: the breathing techniques used in scuba diving are on par with those of meditation. Focusing on the surrounding marine life allows day-to-day issues to melt away, while taking deep, low breaths and generally being relaxed means divers use less air. These can improve our overall mental health and help to deal with stressful situations in real life.
7. You Will Overcome Your Fears
While strapping a tank on your back to breathe underwater might seem barmy, it's one of the most exhilarating experiences out there. Not to get overly philosophical but getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things will teach you so much more about yourself. Plus, you'll be surrounded by professional dive instructors every step of the way so that you can get comfortable in the water.
8. You Will Learn New Skills
Diving is so much more than just learning how to use dive gear and will see you gain a whole heap of both theoretical and practical skills. From learning buoyancy control while floating weightless like an astronaut, to channelling your inner science geek uncovering the physics and physiology of scuba diving, not to mention skills that will come handy in everyday life, such as multi-tasking, communicating clearly, social skills and keeping a level head.
9. It’s a Life-Long Activity
While you will need to take a refresher course (which you can do while on holiday) if you haven't dived for over six months, there are no age restrictions so you can continue your diving adventure for life (the world record is currently 96 years old). And once you've gained your first certification, a whole world of other options will unfold, from advanced certification (which we thoroughly recommend for diving down to 30 metres) to speciality courses, ranging from underwater photography to nitrox and everything in between.
10. Your Holidays Will Become More Adventurous
Excuse us for a moment of unabashed self-promotion, but scuba diving holidays are some of the most adventurous, life-changing trips across the world; uncover secret underwater jungles in Papua New Guinea; dive between continents in Iceland; come face-to-face with whale sharks the size of buses in the Galapagos; or even head 300 metres below the ocean's surface in a DeepSea Submersible, to name but a few.