Topping the list of scenarios you never would have come up with on your own has got to be scuba diving during an earthquake, something a group of divers in Indonesia recently experienced.
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The group was diving around a reef in the Banda Sea on November 8th when the earthquake, which came in at a 7.2 magnitude, struck. At around 20 seconds into the video, the earthquake hits, causing the divers to try and grab onto pieces of coral in an attempt to stop themselves from floating away. The earthquake also disturbs the sand and the fish, a school of which can be seen speeding away with a vengeance as soon as the earthquake starts. The cameraperson, who didn’t manage to grab onto anything, is pushed upwards, although thankfully not too far from the rest of the group.
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A second video shows the aftermath of the earthquake on the reef, with clouds of sand swirling as some of the divers swim around it. The earthquake was followed by seven sizable aftershocks ranging from 5.0 to 6.8 in magnitude.
A third video provides us with a different, much closer angle of the earthquake as it hits the reef and sends the sand and fish flying.
Commenters were united in their response: heck no. “Great, now I’ve added being in the ocean during an earthquake to my paranoia list,” wrote one. Another added, “Yall would have seen gas bubbles come from my gear because the way I would have been scared .”
Despite sounding like a completely unique experience, other people have survived earthquakes that took place while they were scuba diving, including one woman who spoke to The Guardian about it. Her experience sounds terrifying: “After nearly 45 minutes, the sound of my breathing was drowned out by a low rumble like an engine, and I felt deep, powerful vibrations, as if a big boat with a propeller was passing overhead. I looked up but couldn’t see anything. The dive instructor’s eyes were wide with confusion: he didn’t know what was going on either, even though he’d done thousands of dives.
“Then we were enveloped by clouds of white sand that mushroomed up around us, and I thought, could it be an underwater bomb? ... The vibration became so intense, I could feel it in my bones, and the sound turned into a deafening roar. I could see waterfalls of sand pouring over the coral, and on the sea floor, a few metres below us, cracks began forming and the sand was sucked down. That’s when I realised it was an earthquake. The noise was the sound of the Earth splintering open and grinding against itself.”
Gas bubbles indeed.