Underwater diving in popular culture
Movies, novels, TV series and shows, comics, graphic art, sculpture, games, myths, legends, and misconceptions. Fiction in general relating to all forms of diving, including hypothetical and imaginary methods, and other aspects of underwater diving which have become part of popular culture.
- 1 Movies
- 2 Novels
- 3 TV series
- 4 Comics
- 5 Art
- 6 Gaming
- 7 Awards and events
- 8 Frogmen
- 9 Freediving
- 10 Misconceptions
- 11 References
- 11 A.M. – 2013 South Korean science fiction film directed by Kim Hyun-seok
- 47 Meters Down – 2017 survival horror film by Johannes Roberts
- 47 Meters Down: Uncaged – American survival horror film directed by Johannes Roberts
- The Abyss – 1989 American science fiction film directed by James Cameron
- Amsterdamned – 1988 Dutch horror film by Dick Maas
- Below the Sea – 1933 suspense film by Albert S. Rogell
- Beneath the 12-Mile Reef – 1953 American Technicolor adventure film by Robert D. Webb
- Bermuda: Cave of the Sharks – 1978 Spanish-Italian-Mexican adventure-mystery film by Tonino Ricci
- The Big Blue – 1988 English-language film directed by Luc Besson
- Black Sea – 2014 submarine disaster film by Kevin Macdonald
- Black Water – 2018 American action thriller film directed by Pasha Patriki
- Blücher – 1988 Norwegian thriller film directed by Oddvar Bull Tuhus
- Blue – 2009 Indian action adventure film directed by Anthony D'Souza
- Boy on a Dolphin – 1957 film by Jean Negulesco
- Carib Gold – 1956 maritime themed B-movie by Harold Young
- City Beneath the Sea – 1953 adventure film by Budd Boetticher
- Come Spy with Me – 1967 American spy film by Marshall Stone
- Crosswinds – 1951 adventure film by Lewis R. Foster
- Daring Game – 1968 drama film by László Benedek
- The Deep – 1977 adventure film by Peter Yates
- Deep Blue Sea – 1999 American science fiction horror film by Renny Harlin
- DeepStar Six – 1989 American science fiction horror film by Sean S. Cunningham
- Dykket (The Dive) – 1990 Norwegian action thriller film by Tristan de Vere Cole
- Divers at Work on the Wreck of the "Maine" – 1898 French silent film by Georges Méliès
- Down to the Sea – 1936 American drama film by Lewis D. Collins
- Easy Come, Easy Go – 1967 music film comedy from the United States directed by John Rich
- The Evil Below – 1989 horror film by Wayne Crawford
- Fear Is the Key – 1972 film by Michael Tuchner
- For Your Eyes Only – 1981 British spy film in the James Bond series by John Glen
- Forbidden Island – 1959 American adventure crime film by Charles B. Griffith
- The Freediver – 2004 British drama film by Alki David
- The Frogmen – 1951 American black and white WWII drama film by Lloyd Bacon
- Ghost Diver – 1957 American adventure film by Richard Einfeld and Merrill G. White
- Goliath awaits – 1981 American made-for-television mini-series by Kevin Connor
- The Greater Meaning of Water – American athlete and entrepreneur – 2010 feature documentary by Sky Christopherson
- Hello Down There – 1969 comedy adventure film by Jack Arnold, Ricou Browning
- Impressionen unter Wasser – 2002 film by Leni Riefenstahl
- The Inn on the River – 1962 film
- Into the Blue – 2005 American action-thriller film by John Stockwell
- Into the Blue 2: The Reef – 2009 American action film by Stephen Herek
- Isle of Forgotten Sins – 1943 American adventure film by Edgar George Ulmer
- Jamaica Run – 1953 adventure-drama film by Lewis R. Foster
- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life – 2003 action-adventure film by Jan de Bont
- The Last Adventure – 1967 drama film directed by Robert Enrico
- Leviathan – 1989 film by George P. Cosmatos
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – 2004 American comedy-drama film by Wes Anderson
- Manfish – 1956 adventure film directed by W. Lee Wilder
- Man in the River – 1958 West German drama film by Eugen York
- Manina, the Girl in the Bikini – 1952 French film by Willy Rozier
- Mara Maru – 1952 noir-influenced film by Gordon Douglas
- The Meg – 2018 science fiction action thriller film by Jon Turteltaub
- Never Say Never Again – 1983 James Bond film directed by Irvin Kershner
- No Gold for a Dead Diver – 1974 film
- The Odyssey – 2016 French-Belgian biographical adventure film directed by Jérôme Salle
- On the Reeperbahn at Half Past Midnight – 1954 German comedy drama film by Wolfgang Liebeneiner
- Open Water – 2003 American survival horror thriller film by Chris Kentis
- Pandorum – 2009 German science fiction horror film directed by Christian Alvart
- Pioneer (Pionér) – 2013 film
- Pressure – 2015 action film by Ron Scalpello
- Race for the Yankee Zephyr – 1981 New Zealand suspense-action-thriller film by David Hemmings[clarification needed]
- Rommel's Treasure – 1955 Italian-American drama film by Romolo Marcellini
- Sam Whiskey – 1969 American comedy-western film by Arnold Laven
- Sanctum – 2011 Australian-American disaster survival film by Alister Grierson
- The Sea Bat – 1930 film
- The Sea God – 1930 American adventire film by George Abbott
- The Sea Hornet – 1951 American adventure film by Joseph Kane
- Sea Hunt – American action adventure television series from 1958 to 1961
- Sector 7 – 2011 South Korean science fiction action film by Kim Ji-hun
- September Storm – 1960 American adventure film by Byron Haskin
- The Shark Hunter – 1979 film
- Shark! – 1969 Mexican-American action film by Samuel Fuller
- Sharks' Treasure – 1975 American adventure film by Cornel Wilde
- The Silent Enemy – 1958 British action film by William Fairchild
- The Silent World – 1956 French documentary film co-directed by Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle
- Sixteen Fathoms Deep – 1934 American film by Armand Schaefer
- Sixteen Fathoms Deep – 1948 American adventure film directed by Irving Allen
- Smuggler's Island – 1951 American Film noir adventure film by Edward Ludwig
- Special Code: Assignment Lost Formula – 1966 Italian-Spanish-French Eurospy film by Pino Mercanti
- Sphere – 1998 American science fiction psychological thriller film by Barry Levinson
- The Spy Who Loved Me – 1977 British James Bond spy film by Lewis Gilbert
- Thunderball – 1965 British James Bond spy film by Terence Young
- Thunderbirds – British science fiction Supermarionation TV series
- The Treasure of Jamaica Reef – 1975 American film by Virginia L. Stone
- The Treasure Seekers – 1979 British-American action film by Henry Levin
- Ulavuthurai – 1998 Tamil action crime film by Ramesh Selvan
- Under the Red Sea – 1952 film directed by Hans Hass
- Underwater – 2020 film directed by William Eubank
- Underwater Warrior – 1958 film by Andrew Marton
- Underwater! – 1955 adventure film by John Sturges
- The Valiant – 1962 British/Italian international co-production film by Roy Ward Baker
- Wet Gold – 1984 American television adventure film directed by Dick Lowry
- The White Heather – 1919 American silent drama film by Maurice Tourneur
- Woman of the Red Sea – 1953 Italian comedy film by Giovanni Roccardi
- Attack from Atlantis – Science fiction novel by Lester del Rey
- Blue Remembered Earth – Science fiction novel by Alastair Reynolds
- Camouflage – 2004 science fiction novel by Joe Haldeman
- Capillaria – 1921 satirical fantasy novel by Frigyes Karinthy
- Crisis on Conshelf Ten – 1975 science fiction novel by Monica Hughes
- The Deep Range – 1957 science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke
- Deep Storm – 2007 novel by American author Lincoln Child
- Diving Adventure – 1970 children's novel by Willard Price
- The Dolphins of Laurentum – Historical novel by Caroline Lawrence
- A Door into Ocean – 1986 feminist science fiction novel by Joan Slonczewski
- The Dragon in the Sea – 1956 novel by Frank Herbert
- Driftglass – 1971 collection of science fiction short stories by Samuel R. Delany
- The Godwhale – Science fiction bovel by T.J.Bass
- Kapitán Nemo – Science fiction novel by Jan Matzal Troska
- The Lazarus Effect – Science fiction novel by Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom
- Live and Let Die – Second James Bond novel by Ian Fleming
- Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus – Juvenile science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov
- The Maracot Deep – 1929 short novel by Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Pearl – 1947 novella by John Steinbeck
- The Scar – 2002 weird fantasy novel by China Miéville
- The Scarlet Empire – 1906 dystopian political satire novel by David M. Parry
- South Sea Adventure – 1952 children's book by Willard Price
- Sphere – 1987 science fiction/psychological thriller novel by Michael Crichton
- Startide Rising – 1983 science fiction novel by David Brin
- Surface Tension – Science fiction short story by James Blish
- The Swarm – A science fiction novel by German author Frank Schätzing
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – 1870 novel by Jules Verne
- Undersea Trilogy – Three science fiction novels by Frederik Pohl and Jack Wiliamson
- Underwater Adventure – 1954 children's book by Willard Price
- The Underwater Welder – 2012 graphic novel ghost story by Jeff Lemire
- The Watch Below – 1966 science fiction novel by James White
- You Only Live Twice – 1964 James Bond novel by Ian Fleming
- Sea Hunt – American action adventure television series from 1958 to 1961
- Assignment: Underwater – American adventure television series from 1960 to 1961
- Diver Dan – A series of 104 seven-minute live-action shorts made for children's television
- H2O: Just Add Water – 2006 children's television show from Australia
- Man from Atlantis – American science fiction television series
- Sealab 2020 – Television cartoon series by Hanna-Barbera Productions
- Sealab 2021 – American animated television series (2000-2005)
- Stingray – British children' Supermarionation television series}}
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One of several illustrations of Alexander the Great being lowered into the sea from a boat inside a transparent cylinder, interpreted as a glass diving bell. The style of the illustration varies with the era and culture of the artist, but the basic subject remains much the same.
Political cartoon depicting Grover Cleveland.
Mural art showing an underwater scene with scuba divers,
Early 20th century whimsical advertising illustration.
Painting on ceramic commemorating a North Sea commercial offshore diving incident in 1979.
- Cancún Underwater Museum – Underwater Museum in Cancún, Mexico
- The Diver – Sculpture by John Kaufman
- Christ of the Abyss – A submerged bronze statue of Jesus Christ in the Mediterranean Sea
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Awards and events
- Hans Hass Award – Award in recognition of contribution made to the advancement of our knowledge of the ocean
- International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame – Annual event recognizing recreational scuba industry contributors
- London Diving Chamber Dive Lectures – A series of public lectures that have been hosted at the Royal Geographical Society in London
- NOGI Awards – Annual awards by Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.
The 1951 movie The Frogmen used three-cylinder aqualungs, as shown on the DVD cover. At the time DESCO were making three-cylinder constant flow breathing sets that lacked the demand valve of the aqualung, but they were rarely deployed in the war, and the preferred system in the US armed forces was the rebreather developed by Christian J. Lambertsen.
The 1958 film The Silent Enemy with Laurence Harvey as Lionel "Buster" Crabb, describes his exploits during World War II. It was made following the publicity created by Crabb's mysterious disappearance and likely death during a Cold War incident a year earlier.
The 1955 film Above Us the Waves, based on the 1953 book of the same title, includes a reenactment of Operation Title, the attempted attack by British frogmen on the Tirpitz in 1942. The film is notable for the efforts made to be historically accurate.
In the 1966 sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage and its accompanying novelization by Isaac Asimov, the character of former navy veteran and now government agent Charles Grant is referenced as a communications expert and experienced frogman.
The film Submarine X-1, made in 1969, loosely based on the real Operation Source, depicts British World War II frogmen's equipment inaccurately. The breathing sets shown are open-circuit and are merely a very fat cylinder across the belly, with a black single-hose second-stage regulator such as was not invented until the 1960s. Also shown were ordinary recreational scuba weight belts and diving half-masks with elliptical windows. The frogmen in the real war operation mostly used Sladen suits and an early model of Siebe Gorman rebreathers with a backpack weight pouch containing lead balls releasable by pulling a cord.
Sea Hunt was an American action adventure television series that aired in syndication from 1958 to 1961 and was popular in syndication for decades afterwards. The series originally aired for four seasons, with 155 episodes produced. It stars Lloyd Bridges as former United States Navy frogman, Mike Nelson.
Derivative word usages
Some scuba diving clubs have an entry class called "Tadpoles" for younger children who want to start scuba diving.
Errors about frogmen found in public media
Incongruences in fiction
Many comics have depicted combat frogmen and other covert divers using two-cylinder twin-hose open-circuit aqualungs. All real covert frogmen use rebreathers because the stream of bubbles from an open-circuit set would give away the diver's position.
Many aqualungs have been anachronistically depicted in comics in stories set during World War II, when in reality at that time period aqualungs were unknown outside Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his close associates in Toulon in south France. Some aqualungs were smuggled out of occupied France during the war (these may have been Commeinhes regulators).
The movie The Frogmen, similarly, depicted frogmen using three-cylindered aqualungs, including on its movie poster. DESCO were making three-cylinder constant flow sets that lacked the demand valve of an aqualung, but they were rarely used in the war, and the preferred system was the rebreather developed by Christian J. Lambertsen.
Ian Edward Fraser V.C. in 1957 wrote a book Frogman V.C. about his experiences. Its dust cover depicted on it a frogman placing a limpet mine on a ship, wearing a breathing set with twin over-the-shoulder wide breathing tubes emitting bubbles from behind his neck, presumably drawn after an old-type aqua-lung.
Drawing and artwork
There have been thousands of drawings[original research?] (mostly in comics) of combat frogmen and other scuba divers with two-cylinder twin-hose aqualungs shown with one wide breathing tube coming straight out of each cylinder top with no regulator, far more than of twin-hose aqualungs depicted accurately with a regulator, or of combat frogmen with rebreathers.[original research?]
Twin-hose without visible regulator valve (fictional)
This type is mentioned here because it is very familiar in comics and other drawings, as a wrongly-drawn twin-hose two-cylinder aqualung, with one wide hose coming out of each cylinder top to the mouthpiece with no apparent regulator valve, much more often than a correctly-drawn twin-hose regulator (and often of such breathing sets being used by combat frogmen): see Frogman#Errors about frogmen found in public media. It would not work in the real world.
- Ocean Men (2001) is a documentary film about the art and science of freediving, featuring two of its most outstanding exponents: Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras and Umberto Pelizzari.
- In the film Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise plays super spy Ethan Hunt fighting the forces of evil, and goes freediving in a scene to expose the villains.
- The Pearl by John Steinbeck (1947) is a novel about a poor pearl diver, Kino, who finds the 'Pearl of Heaven', which is exceptionally valuable, changing his life forever. The novel explores themes of man's nature as well as greed and evil.
- In South Sea Adventure (1952) by Willard Price the Hunt brothers, marooned on a coral island, use free diving to collect both pearls and fresh water.
- In Ian Fleming's (1964) James Bond novel You Only Live Twice, the character Kissy Suzuki is an ama diver. This connection was also mentioned in the film version.
- Man from Atlantis was a 1970s TV series which featured a superhero with the ability to breathe underwater and freedive in his own special way.
- The Big Blue (1988) is a romantic film about two world-class freedivers, a heavily fictionalized depiction of the rivalry of freedivers Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca.
- In the movie Phoenix Blue (2001), protagonist Rick is a musician who freedives competitively.
- The children's novel The Dolphins of Laurentum by Caroline Lawrence (2003), which takes place in ancient Rome, describes the applications of freediving (sponge and pearl diving) and its hazards, as one of the principal characters, as well as the main antagonist, try to beat each other to a sunken treasure.
- The Freediver (2004) is a film about a talented female freediver who is discovered and brought to an island, where she is trained by an ambitious scientist to break a freediving world record currently held by an American woman.
- In the film Into the Blue (2005) starring Jessica Alba, a group of divers find themselves in deep trouble with a drug lord after they come upon the illicit cargo of a sunken airplane in the Caribbean. Jessica Alba is an accomplished freediver, and did much of the underwater work; some other stunts were performed by Mehgan Heaney-Grier.
- In Greg Iles' novel Blood Memory (2005), the main character Cat Ferry is an odontologist and a freediver.
- H2O: Just Add Water Series 3 added a freediver (Will Benjamin played by Luke Mitchell) as a regular. Freediving is featured in some episodes.
- The Greater Meaning of Water (2010) is an independent film about competitive constant weight freediving, focusing on the 'zen' of freediving.
- In the Canadian television series Corner Gas, the character Karen Pelly (Tara Spencer-Nairn) competed in static apnea, ranking fifth in Canada with a personal best of over six minutes.
- In the American television series Baywatch episode "The Chamber" (Session 2, Episode 17), the character Mitch Buchannon rescues a diver trapped 90 feet below the ocean surface, but almost dies while suffering the effects of decompression sickness; decompression sickness is highly improbable following freediving exposure to this depth.
Common errors of fact and misunderstanding of the physics and physiology of diving in journalism and popular culture.
- Use of "oxygen" as a breathing gas: Most recreational scuba diving uses air or other gas mixtures. reports in newspapers referring to the diver running out of oxygen may be technically correct, as it is hypoxia that kills the drowning victim, but references to "oxygen cylinders" are usually wrong, excepting in rare cases of oxygen rebreathers. In many cases it is obvious from the context that the breathing gas was air and the diver ran out of air, not oxygen.
- Vann RD (2004). "Lambertsen and O2: beginnings of operational physiology". Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. 31 (1): 21–31. PMID 15233157. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
- Levine, Philippa; Grayzel, Susan R (2009). Gender, Labour, War and Empire: Essays on Modern Britain. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 160. ISBN 978-0230521193.
- "Production notes for Thunderball". MI6.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- Asimov, Isaac (1966). "4 : Briefing". Fantastic Voyage (PDF).
- book: Frogman V.C., publisher: Angus & Robertson, London, 1957
- http://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/809545.jpg This image of a comic page has an example of this error.
- Examples at , 
- "Frogman (Hillman) - Comic Book Plus". comicbookplus.com.
- Examples, and variations, at , , 
- "Ocean Men: Extreme Dive (2001)". IMDb. IMDb.com, Inc. 31 August 2001. Retrieved 15 June 2018.