Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Snorkeling is the practice of swimming at the surface of a body of water equipped with a mask and a short tube called a snorkel. It is a popular recreational activity, particularly at tropical resort destinations. Since snorkeling requires calm water (where there are no waves to splash into the snorkel), it is typically done in protected areas, such as lagoons. Snorkeling requires no special training, only the ability to swim and to breathe through the snorkel. However, it can be helpful to know how to expel water from the snorkel following a dive below the surface, which may allow water to enter the snorkel. The mask and snorkel are similar to those used in scuba diving, but since they are not subjected to the pressures of deep water, they can be more lightweight and comfortable.
The primary attraction of snorkeling is the opportunity to observe underwater life in a natural setting. This may include coral reefs and their denizens, such as fish, octopuses, starfish, sea urchins, and mollusks. Snorkeling in sandy areas may allow sighting of rays and various flatfish. Other organisms that can be seen while snorkeling include various forms of seaweed, such as kelp; jellyfish; and sea turtles.
Popular snorkeling locations include:
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