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Welcome to the Scuba Skeleton FAQ. This will answer any and all questions pertaining to Scuba Skeleton.
Last Updated December 7th, 2002
Q: Why does Scuba Skeleton wear a SCUBA tank?
A: Scuba Skeleton wears a SCUBA tank so he can breathe underwater.

Q: What does FAQ mean?
A: FAQ stands for "Frequently Asked Questions" or "Frequently Answered Questions" depending on who you ask or who answers. It is meant to be an informative guide providing detailed information on a specific subject.

Q: When was the first SCUBA tank developed?
A: The first self contained underwater breathing apparatus was sucsessfully tested in 1943, although Yves Le Prieur introduced a very successful underwater breathing unit in 1925. The term SCUBA was coined in 1939 by Dr. Christian Lambertsen, who was working for the US military. Though the word itself is an acronym, most people consider it a word in its own right and omit the capitalization.

Q: What does SCUBA stand for?
A: It stands for self contained underwater breathing apparatus.

Q: Who invented the first SCUBA tank?
A: Although Yves Le Prieur introduced a very successful underwater breathing unit in 1925, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan developed the first modern SCUBA tank, called the Aqua-lung in 1943.

Q: Why would a skeleton need to use a SCUBA tank?
A: A skeleton would use a SCUBA tank in order to venture underwater further than it would be able to using a snorkel or a holding its breath (free diving). With special equipment, an expert scuba-diver can descend to the world record depth of 308 meters. Of course, Scuba Skeleton is certainly not as skilled as the diver who set this record in 2001, John Bennett.

Q: Is the guy who invented SCUBA still around?
A: Sadly, Jacques-Yves Cousteau (co-creator of the first Aqua-lung) passed away June 25, 1997 from a heart attack during his recovery from a respiratory ailment in his home in Paris. Emile Gagnan seems to be a footnote of history, for although he invented the valve that made SCUBA devices possible, his contributions were overshadowed by Cousteau's use and popularization of their invention. This FAQ's author was unable to find any information on whether Emile Gagnan is still living.

Q: Is Scuba Skeleton the skeleton of Jacques Cousteau?
A: Scuba Skeleton has a deep and abiding respect for the contributions of Mr. Cousteau to the sport of scuba-diving as well of his work to open the mysteries under the sea to millions around the world. Scuba Skeleton is not the skeleton of Jacques Cousteau. Mr. Cousteau's body rests in a family plot in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac Cemetery in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac, France.

Q: Is Scuba Skeleton the skeleton of Emile Gagnan?
A: While the author of this FAQ was unable to determine whether Emile Gagnan is still living. Regardless, Scuba Skeleton is not the skeleton of Emile Gagnan.

Q: Does Scuba Skeleton also have a deep and abiding respect for the contributions of Mr. Gagnan to the sport of scuba-diving?
A: Yes, Scuba Skeleton does.

Q: Is Scuba Skeleton the skeleton of Dr. Christian Lambertsen?
A: No. In fact, Dr. Lambertsen is still very much alive. The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society honored his lifetime of work at their annual scientific meeting last June.

Q: Was Scuba Skeleton in attendence at this meeting?
A: While Scuba Skeleton is not a member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, he maintains very close ties to the Society due to the nature of his work. Scuba Skeleton was unable to attend Dr. Lambertson's banquet due to a adventure off the coast of Borneo. Scuba Skeleton sent Dr. Lambertson his deep regrets and emphasized his deep and abiding respect for the contributions of Dr. Lambertson to the sport of scuba-diving.

Q: Is Scuba Skeleton a boy or a girl?
A: Forensic scientists are able to determine the gender of a skeleton from many features because human bones exhibit sexual dimorphism. In males, the skull is generally more rugged looking, and there are key differences of the brow, the chin, and the eye sockets. Additionally, the bump at the base of the skull (the occipitial condyle) is much more defined in males than in females, where it can be nearly invisible. In addition, the hip bones show a marked difference in male and female specimens, as the female pelvis is wider to accomodate childbirth.

Q: So is Scuba Skeleton a boy or a girl?
A: Forensic scientists are not always able to determine the gender of a skeleton due to age, wear, or decomposition. Although's Scuba Skeleton's skeleton is complete and free of decomposition these scientists were unable to conclusively determine gender from skeletal remains due to conflicting anthropological information. It may be possible that Scuba Skeleton's skeleton is comprised of bones from multiple skeletons, though this has not been proven either. In any case, scientists once observed Scuba Skeleton riding a boy's bike, and concluded he must therefore be a boy.

Q: Isn't gender just a social construct?
A: While it is true that technically gender is the way that people define themselves in their society and is only connected in part to the biological sex of the person in question, the author of this FAQ was using the term in its common, "folk" definition, which is interchangable with biological sex.

Q: Is Scuba Skeleton able to engage in biological sex?
A: Although Scuba Skeleton has been proven to be a boy, he has no genitalia and is therefore unable to engage in the reproductive act. Indeed, Scuba Skeleton has no skin, muscles, circulatory system, heart, lungs or organs of any kind.

Q: Could Scuba Skeleton drown?
A: Since Scuba Skeleton is familiar with the safety precautions assosciated with scuba-diving and is fully PADI and NAUI certified and accredited, it is highly unlikely he could drown. Nevertheless, Scuba Skeleton is aware of the dangers involved with undersea adventuring and would never leave a boat without proper equipment.

Q: What's in the scuba-tank?
A: Normally Scuba Skeleton's tank is filled with plain old compressed air, like the kind you and I breathe everyday. However, for extended dives Scuba Skeleton uses a special mixture called Nitrox, a gas with a higher oxygen percentage than is found in atmospheric air. Nitrox decreases the risk of decompression sickness and nitrogen narcosis during long dives. Scuba Skeleton also uses Heliox and Trimax, as described below.

Q: What is decompression sickness?
A: Decompession sickness (DCS) is more commonly known as "the bends" (athough tecnically "the bends" refers only to Type I DCS, the painful manifestations). It occurs from nitrogen bubbles forming in the bloodstream and all body tissues when ascending from a dive. Symptoms include mottled skin, a tingling in the extremities, shock and death. Once a DCS victim experiences death, there is usually very little that can be done for the patient. DCS can be avoided by ascending to the surface slowly, letting the nitrogen bubbles dissapate.

Q: What is nitrogen narcosis?
A: Nitrogen narcosis (often called "rapture of the deep") is an effect caused by a high-pressure inert gas acting on nerve impulses. The sensation is almost exactly the same as being drunk. In fact, there are deaths caused each year from divers diving too deeply and succumbing to nitrogen narcosis. For deeper dives, Scuba Skeleton uses a mixture of oxygen and helium called Heliox or a mixture of oxygen, helium and nitrogen called Trimix. Using these gasses, professional divers can dive deeper than 400 feet.

Q: Has Scuba Skeleton ever suffered the effects of DCS or nitrogen narcosis?
A: Although Scuba Skeleton remains vigilant of the effects of these dangerous syndromes, he cannot recall the last time he felt their effects. This is probably due to his vast scuba-diving experience.

Q: Does the helium in Heliox and Trimix cause Scuba Skeleton's voice to get all squeaky, as if he'd been breathing from a helium balloon?
A: Yes. Because helium is less dense the the normal atmospheric mixture, a person breathing a mixture that contains helium will find their vocal cords vibrating at a much higher pitch, and their voice will sound much higher pitched. Professional divers use vocal descramblers to communicate with each other.

Q: At all times? Even when they're not diving?
A: No, helium quickly dissapates from the vocal cords when a person stops breathing a mixture that contains helium, such as Heliox or Trimix.

Q: What are vocal cords, anyway?
A: Vocal cords are a pair of strong, fiberous bands of tissue located in the throat. As air from the lungs passes, these cords vibrate and sound is produced.

Q: Then how can Scuba Skeleton talk?
A: Scuba Skeleton's vocal cords vibrate as air from his lungs passes them. He can control the sounds these cords make using the muscles in his throat.

Q: I thought you said Scuba Skeleton didn't have muscles or tissue!
A: That isn't a question. A question is a sentence that ends in a question mark or is otherwise an expression of inquiry that invites or calls for a reply.

Q: Ok, does Scuba Skeleton have muscles or tissue?
A: Scuba Skeleton is a skeleton is therefore has no skin, muscles, circulatory system, heart, lungs or organs of any kind.

Q: Then how does Scuba Skeleton breathe?
A: Underwater, Scuba Skeleton relies on his scuba tank to provide him with oxygen, or in some cases Nitrox, Heliox or Trimix.

Q: How does Scuba Skeleton breathe when he's not underwater?
A: Scuba Skeleton breathes plain old air, like the kind you and I breathe everyday.

Q: But how does he breathe without lungs?
A: Underwater, Scuba Skeleton relies on his scuba tank. Above water, he has no need for the tank, but ususally wears it anyway, as it makes him feel comfortable.

Q: Does Scuba Skeleton have gills or something?
A: Scuba Skeleton has no skin, muscles, circulatory system, heart, lungs or organs of any kind.

Q: What does Scuba Skeleton eat?
A: Scuba Skeleton is a strict vegeterian.

Q: How does Scuba Skeleton eat?
A: When dining at home, Scuba Skeleton ususally settles down to a nice, relaxing dinner with candles and soft music. He will remove his scuba mask to eat, of course.

Q: Does Scuba Skeleton enjoy playing pinball?
A: Scuba Skeleton has no interests outside of scuba diving.

Q: Does Scuba Skeleton have a theme song?
A: Certainly:

Scuba Skeleton!
Having fun adventures under the sea
Otherwise breathing the same air as you or I
Fully PADI and NAUI certified
Always careful and therefore still alive

No skin, muscles, lungs or organs of any kind
But he's got a lot of heart, so he doesn't mind
And even though he can't biologically have sex,
For diving pioneers he has a deep and abiding respect

Scuba Skeleton
Some say he rocks
And he sometimes breathes Trimix, Nitrox or Heliox

Scuba Skeleton!

Q: Is Scuba Skeleton the skeleton of John Bennett?
A: No.


This document made with Bare Bones Software's BBEdit 7.0.1

Copyright 2003 Erik Johnson