ALEXIS ROSENFELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALEXIS ROSENFELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scuba divers performing a decompression stop after a dive. They are waiting beneath their boat to prevent decompression sickness, which occurs when a diver ascends too fast after a dive. During a dive, a diver is subjected to pressure several times that at the surface, which forces more nitrogen to dissolve in their blood. If the diver ascends too fast, this rapidly escapes from solution as the pressure drops, causing the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood, joints and tissues. This causes extreme pain and can be crippling or fatal. Ascending slowly allows nitrogen to be released slowly. Photographed off Andros Island in the Bahamas, in the Caribbean Sea.
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