Into the abyss: The diving suit that turns men into fish

Humans have proven themselves remarkably adept at learning to do what other animals can do naturally. We have taught ourselves to fly like birds, climb like monkeys and burrow like moles. But the one animal that has always proven beyond our reach is the fish.

The invention of scuba diving has allowed us to breathe underwater but only at very shallow depths. Diving below 70m still remains astonishingly dangerous to anyone but a handful of experts.

Now an inventor in the United States believes he has solved the riddle of how to get humans down to serious depths – by getting us to breathe liquid like fish. Arnold Lande, a retired American heart and lung surgeon, has patented a scuba suit that would allow a human to breathe "liquid air", a special solution that has been highly enriched with oxygen molecules.

Liquid ventilation might sound like science fiction – it played a major role in James Cameron’s 1989 sci-fi film The Abyss – but it is already used by a handful of cutting-edge American hospitals for highly premature babies.

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