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Sport Diver

Sport Diver September/October 2017

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United States
Bonnier Corporation
Back issues only

in this issue

1 min.

MARAH HARDT Hardt — who earned a Ph.D. in marine biology — is author of the Amazon 2016 science book pick Sex in the Sea and research director of Future of Fish. RICHARD SMITH Smith, an underwater photographer and writer, conducted pioneering research on pygmy seahorses, earning the first Ph.D. on these enigmatic fishes. MICHAEL GERKEN Underwater photographer and cinematographer Gerken captained the luxur y liveaboard Truk Odyssey and North Carolinabased vessel Midnight Express. JENNIFER IDOL Idol, the first woman to dive all 50 United States, is an underwater photographer and designer, and a PADI AmbassaDiver. Her book, An American Immersion, is out now. CHRISTIAN SKAUGE Skauge is an award-winning underwater photographer based in Norway. He has been published worldwide, and hosts workshops throughout the year. ALSO FEATURING: ALEXANDRA BAACKES, MICHEL BRAUNSTEIN, TANYA G. BURNETT, MICHAEL LAWRENCE, TRAVIS MARSHALL, BROOKE…

1 min.
the bizarre issue

ONE OF OUR FAVORITE “BACKYARD” DIVES IS at Riviera Beach’s Blue Heron Bridge. It shelters many of the same odd creatures found in more-exotic muck locales — mantis shrimp, nudibranchs, yellowhead jawfish, bobbit worms, red-lipped batfish and octopuses. We love Florida for its kitschy quirks, but even for the Sunshine State, Blue Heron is over-the-top weird. Many of the animals in this issue — including our stargazer cover subject and the king ragworm shown here — are ones that divers might see but not know what they are, where to look for them or what the heck they’re doing. And we didn’t stop at animals. We spent weeks combing the Internet and underwater photographers’ submissions for anything and everything that had us scratching our heads, laughing out loud or, in some cases,…

5 min.
1 a monumental mystery

IT’S RAINY AND WINDY AS OUR GROUP lands with hopes of experiencing one of the strangest places on Earth: the Yonaguni monument. This spectacular rock formation was discovered by divers in 1986, and ever since, its origin has been shrouded in mystery and controversy. Is the site natural or man-made? Perhaps a natural formation modified by humans? Or was it quite simply made by extraterrestrial beings that settled here and made some kind of weird landing site for their otherworldly craft? The theories are many — and a Google search doesn’t necessarily make you any wiser. So I opt for strapping on a tank and seeing it firsthand. BEFORE YOU GO Yonaguni is one of the Yaeyama Islands in the prefecture of Okinawa. Hammerhead sharks aggregate here in the winter. Fewer than 2,000 people…

4 min.
sounds of the sea

2 SNAPPING SHRIMP Also known as pistol shrimp for using their sound to hunt, snapping shrimp are capable of emitting earsplitting screams. These crustaceans have a unique claw that snaps shut with such speed that it creates a wave of bubbles that can stun larger fish. The bubble wave has extremely low pressure, which means it bursts as soon as it meets water outside it. When it does, it produces a shock wave measured at 200 decibels (the noise made by a jackhammer or lawn mower measures around 100 db). The shrimp’s piercing shot is extremely short: The bubble is formed and collapses in less than a millisecond. 3 HUMPBACK WHALE Known for its complex songs, the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is not the loudest whale in the ocean, but it is probably…

3 min.
gear pioneers

9 Submarine Diving Bell This rigid chamber has origins tracing back to Aristotle in the fourth century BC. The idea was basic: a cauldron turned upside-down to trap air. Aristotle knew that so long as internal pressure is greater than external, the men inside a container can breathe normally. This concept was adapted, and has grown to include underwater habitats. 10 Da Vinci Suit Sixteenth-century smarty Leonardo sketched the first suit for venturing underwater, designing it to be crafted of leather. Tubes of cane would supply air from a surface unit. The polymath’s design included a pee pouch. Sadly, he never fashioned such a suit, although a replica can be seen in the London Science Museum. 11 Carmagnolle Diving Helmet The French brothers who built this suit in 1880 relied on metal to withstand pressure…

12 min.
ocean myths

IN THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA LURK mythological creatures and places that spark the imagination of writers, artists and filmmakers, but for some believers, these tall tales are not the stuff of fiction. For those who believe in cryptids — animals that stretch the limits of what is plausible — it’s an unshakeable conviction that they exist. The lake monster known as Nessie in Scotland’s Loch Ness, for example. There’s also the case of mistaken identity: sailors who confuse a homely dugong for a beautiful mermaid. And then there are the obsessive quests to locate the briny places of legend, such as Atlantis, or to prove the existence of supernatural forces in the Bermuda Triangle. The evidence? Eyewitness accounts, blurry photographs, and mysterious encounters and occurrences. Here, we delve into…