Cartoon illustration of a submarine
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Are you the ultimate diving fan?

What am I?

About 60 years ago, some sport divers used to take a little net like this when they dived. The black base is about 9cm (3 in) wide. What do you think it is? Choose an answer below –
A net for carrying light bulbs
Well Done! You got it right!

Before digital cameras were invented cameras needed to have light bulbs for taking photos that needed a flash. Underwater cameras also used these flash bulbs. You could only use them once so you needed to carry a small supply with you to use each time you wanted to take a flash photograph underwater. This little bag was used for carrying those flash bulbs.

A sample net for collecting specimens from the sea bed
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A net for carrying spare parts for diving equipment repairs
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What do you think it is made from? Choose an answer below –
Cotton netting, wood and metal
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Woollen netting, plastic and metal
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Nylon netting, metal and rubber
Well done! You got it right!

The net is made from a nylon netting and the bottom is made from flexible rubber held on by a metal wire. The opening is at the bottom of the net. It is very clever. It has a split in the rubber base. You push the bulbs through the split to fill the net. Because the rubber does not gape where the split is the bulbs don’t fall out. Then when you need a bulb you just reach in through the split and pull out a bulb, put it into your camera and you are ready to take a flash photo underwater!

Cartoon illustration of an octopus
Cartoon illustration of a a baby diver in a pink wetsuit

Amazing facts about…


Two bright yellow butterfly fish swim in front of a reef covered in brightly coloured soft corals and sea squirts: purples, reds, oranges.
Where does all the colour go when you are underwater?

Light is made up of all the colours of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Water absorbs these colours at different rates.

Red disappears at about 4.5m (15 ft)
Orange disappears at about 7.5m (25 ft)
Yellow disappears at about 10-12m (33-39 ft)
Green disappears at about 20-22m (65-72ft)
Violet disappears at about 24-25m (78-82 ft)
After that only blue light remains. That’s why nearly everything underwater appears to be shades of blue.
No visible light can penetrate deeper than 80m (300ft)

These photos of a colour card shows exactly what happens. The first photo is taken near the surface and you can see all the colours on the card. The next photo shows the same card at nearly 20m (65 ft) deep. Look at how the colours have changed!

If you want to see the amazing true-life colours underwater, take a light with you (like a torch or strobe light). Make sure you are allowed to first – some dive sites don’t allow you to use diving lights.

These pictures show you the effect of using flash underwater: The first one shows a colour card underwater at 6m (19 ft); the second photo shows the same card at the same depth but taken using a flash on the camera.

Cartoon illustration of a baby diver in a yellow wetsuit
Cartoon illustration of an octopus

Funny Bones

What is the best way to communicate with a diver?

Click to find out
Drop him a line!
Cartoon illustration of an octopus

Cool Kidz

Some of the creatures that live in the sea have the most beautiful and extraordinary patterns and colours. You might be lucky enough to see some one day in the sea (or even in a pet shop!). Here are some pictures of some of our favourites:
Cartoon illustration of an octopus

Books we love

Underwater Dogs

By Seth Casteel

Here’s a really fun book to inspire you to take up a camera and have a go at taking underwater photos yourself.

Some dogs just love diving! Throw a ball into the water and the dog will race after it, jump in and a few seconds later up pops the happy dog with the ball in his mouth. Well – that’s what you see if you stand at the water’s edge. But imagine what it would look like if you were under the water.

Seth Casteel has made a book of those diving dogs underwater. And what a treat! Bubbles, swirling fur, paddling paws, billowing ears, bared teeth and wide-open eyes. With over 80 photos there must be some you will adore.

Seth Casteel has produced an edition of Underwater Dogs just for kids as well as two small board books to teach the very young how to identify colours (Underwater Doggies Colors) and numbers (Underwater Doggies 123).

They all have amazing, surprising, charming and funny pictures. A treat for the whole family.


Cartoon illustration of an octopus
Cartoon illustration of air bubbles, moving up the screen
Cartoon illustration of a diver on the seabed
Cartoon illustration of sand at the bottom of the sea