Travel and Leisure, Under the Sea — September 18, 2015 at 5:00 am

6 Unexpected Scuba Dive Spots

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Scuba Diving in the Alps | ©istockphoto/JovanaMilanko

Scuba Diving in the Alps | ©istockphoto/JovanaMilanko

Have you ever thought about scuba diving in Austria? Probably not. Unique and hidden bodies of water are popular with divers who seek diving off the beaten path. Explore a whole new world at these six unexpected dive spots.

Green Lake, Austria
Grüner See or Green Lake is an emerald green lake situated near Tragöß, Austria. The crystal clear waters originate from the Karst Mountain snowmelt and ranges between 43 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one of the most visible lakes to dive in. Don’t expect tropical scenery, but the chance to view life under mountain water. It’s an ideal place for divers to explore unspoiled waters and possibly sit on the underwater park bench.

Orkney Islands, Scotland
Orkney, located in northern Scotland, is a world-class diving destination. Adventure divers visit Orkney to explore the various sunken vessels. The Scapa Flow is known for its World War ships where eight German vessels remain on the ocean floor. The Burra Sound contains three sunken blockships with 20 to 30 meter visibility. The Churchill Barrier is the main attraction for most divers to explore old steamships, The Martis and Empire Seaman.

Silfra Lake, Iceland
Most people visit Iceland to bathe in the Blue Lagoon, however, the Silfra Tetonic Fissure is a unique fresh body of water waiting to be explored. The fissure invites divers to explore the area where the plates of the North American and Eurasian continents meet. Visibility exceeds 100 meters and divers can swim past the lava rock landscapes in near-freezing waters.

Banua Wuhu, Indonesia
Divers who want to experience volcanic life underwater should visit Banua Wuhu. Located near Mahangetan Island, Banua Wuhu is part of a volcanic chain and rises 400 meters from the sea floor and less than five meters from the surface. The underwater volcano releases strands of sulfur gas bubbles, and the volcano’s sulfur covered rocks give way to exceptional marine life. Be careful, though, as the bubbles can burn divers’ skin.

Neptune Memorial Reef, Florida
Located off the coast of Miami is an artificial reef serving as an underwater cemetery, encouraging “creating life after life” with a sustainable and “Green Burial” opportunity. People who choose the reef as their burial site are cremated and their remains are blended with cement, sand and water, then molded into an image or shape of their liking. Scuba divers place the stones in the underwater graveyard. The memorial has the capacity for up to 100,000 headstones and is a sight to behold.

Encounter Reef, Sudan
Below the surface of Sudan’s waters is a peaceful and majestic landscape waiting to be explored. Divers who visit Sudan will find that the diving sites do not have massive crowds. Explore the Sha’ab Rumi reef to encounter wildlife such as hammerheads, turtles and manta rays.

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