What Does Scuba Stand For
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What Does Scuba Stand For

The History and Meaning of the Word Scuba





What does scuba stand for? This is a common question asked by new scuba students and people interested in scuba diving.


To understand what the word scuba stands for, what it means and where it came from we need to take a look at the history of scuba diving.


What the Word Scuba Stands For


What Does Scuba Stans For The word is an acronym that stands for Self-Contained-Underwater-Breathing-Apparatus and describes a specific type of scuba gear that allows a diver to breath underwater without an airline to a surface air source.



The word scuba is also used to describe the sport of scuba diving which uses the scuba system for recreational diving. Today the word scuba can refer to the act of diving with either an open circuit or closed circuit scuba system. It is also used to refer to any of the equipment a scuba diver may use.


Where the Word Scuba Comes From


The term scuba originated during World War II. It referred to naval divers or combat frogmen using oxygen rebreathers to attack ships from underwater. Scuba rebreathers where preferred by the military because of the absence of a tell tale bubble trail.


The U.S. military was not the only one to use scuba rebreathers. In 1941 Italian divers used rebreathers to attack moored Allied ships.


Two Types of Scuba Systems


The Aqua Lung

When most people ask the question,"What does scuba stand for?" they are thinking about the Aqua Lung. This scuba system was pioneered by two Frenchman in 1943. An engineer Emil Gagnan and a naval officer Jacques Cousteau combined a two-stage regulator with a high pressure air tank. The regulator delivered air to the diver on the slightest intake of air. The exhaled air was released into the water. Cousteau and Gagnan's Aqua Lung was the forerunner of what we now know as an open-circuit scuba system.

Scuba Divers



Scuba Rebreathers

This type of scuba system also has a tank of compressed breathing gas (enriched air) and a regulator. The difference is it also has other mechanisms that recycle the exhaled breathing gas. The carbon dioxide is removed from the exhaled breath and is injected with oxygen allowing the diver to breathe it again. Rebreathers are either closed-circuit or semi-closed-circuit scuba systems.


What Does Scuba Mean to You


Diver Siloette Today when people ask what does scuba stand for they can be referring to the Aqua Lung pioneered by Cousteau and Gagnan. They can also be referring to a sport that allows them to explore a fantastic and beautiful underwater world.


If you are interested in scuba diving, sign up for a scuba diving certification course before your first diving adventure. Once you are certified dive as much as you can, upgrade your scuba certification as often as you can and enjoy a great underwater adventure.

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