Human Vs Cetacean Divers Essay

526 words - 2 pages

Following a deep dive in water, humans can experience severe pains upon returning to the surface too quickly, and the resultingbody injury may cause unconsciousness and death. Aches are so severe in some cases, commonly in the joints, that diversbend over in agony. Hence, the name, the bends. However, the more common name for this condition is decompressionsickness, meaning that the sickness results from decreasing pressure.Divers experience decreasing pressure upon ascent to the surface of the water. This is expected because pressure graduallyincreases with increasing depth of the water. Increases in pressure with depth are a result of increasing weight of the water. Forexample, at 150 feet, because of this weight, pressures on all surfaces of the body are four and one-half times greater than theyare at the surface. At this depth, pressure on the diver's chest cavity, lungs, and air within the lungs causes gases such asnitrogen in that air to dissolve in the blood of lung tissue. Dissolved nitrogen at high pressure and deep water causes noproblems as long as the diver does not ascend. When the diver ascends, pressure decreases (decompression), and nitrogen isreleased from the blood into body tissues as bubbles. This process is similar to the appearance of bubbles in a soda after thecap is removed. Bubbles appear because the pressure that kept them dissolved was removed with release of the cap. Thesenitrogen bubbles in tissues are the factor which cause damage, sickness, and death. However, some mammals do notexperience decompression sickness. These are the whales, porpoises, and dolphins, known collectively as cetaceans.Cetaceans do not experience complications during dives as humans do, even...

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