What's In Your Tank?

We recently posted an article about the Aquaman Crystal and its potential to revolutionize the scuba diving industry, but it's important to take a look at the complexity of breathing underwater and what it is we actually breath.

Having a crystal that could absorb the oxygen from the water would be an amazing tool that could drastically influence the scuba diving world. Large, heavy scuba tanks could be replaced by smaller devices used to activate the crystalline material. However, there are complications to this idea.


When we breathe the air around us, we are not just breathing oxygen.  In fact, we are only breathing about 20% oxygen, or less. The other 80% is mostly made up of Nitrogen and trace amounts of Argon and Helium. So, our bodies are not conditioned to breath 100% oxygen. We can handle that much oxygen on the surface or sea-level pressure, but below 20 feet of water, pure oxygen becomes toxic to the body. It is too concentrated for our bodies and Oxygen Toxicity starts to result.

Oxygen Toxicity

When the body takes on too much oxygen, the oxygen essentially becomes poisonous to our system. It can cause the body to convulse and create critical damage to cells and organs.

So what do we breathe? It is important to realize that scuba diving tanks are not pure oxygen tanks. They are air tanks. Yes, there is a difference. Air tanks used for scuba diving are made up of the same ratio of oxygen and nitrogen we use to breathe on land. 

Experts will use higher percentage oxygen tanks in scuba diving for special reasons, but it takes advanced training. Nitrox tanks are popular for this, which are commonly filled with about 40% oxygen instead of 20% in regular air tanks. 

It is interesting to note that we don't even use the nitrogen which makes up the majority of the gas which we inhale regularly. Our body uses nitrogen created from proteins we digest, but it doesn't use the nitrogen we breath in the air. Our body breathes for the oxygen, we just can't have too much of it at once.


So,  with this knowledge, these Aquaman Crystals can be a great benefit, but we will have to learn how to modify their use to benefit the scuba diving world. It will be an interesting development.

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