You probably know something about the dangers of scuba diving: drowning, shark attacks, boating accidents... But there's one problem that's more common than the others, and it doesn't hit until you're already out of the water. That problem is decompression sickness, or as it's more commonly known, "the bends." It can cause fatigue, pain, and even in some rare cases, death, But what exactly is this strange and serious health problem, and why does it hit you the way it does?
The first thing you need to know is that the bends is that it happens when you surface too quickly. That shouldn't be a big deal, right? Well, it may sound like a small mistake, but it actually sets off a chain reaction of pain and havoc throughout your blood and joints. In fact, what happens to your body when you get the bends is as fascinating as it is frightening. Spoiler alert: you're going to cringe at some of this.
So before you go scuba diving, it's time for us to give you a little lesson on why surfacing slowly is more important than you ever would have guessed.