Feeling drunk without fearing hangover: Rapture of the Deep

Last week, a few buddies from my local scuba diving club and me visited a recompression chamber in Traunstein, Germany. The point of this visit was to experience the effects of Rapture of the Deep, also called nitrogen narcosis.

What’s Rapture of the Deep?

The deeper you dive, the more the pressure increases. With increased pressure, nitrogen becomes more and more narcotic. Nitrogen narcosis starts at 30 meters depth (4 bar). That’s why the depth limit for recreational diving is set to 40 meters. As you ascend again, all effects of rapture of the deep vanish immediately – you don’t have to fear hangover.

My experiences

The recompression chamber simulated a depth of 50 meters (6 bar). The effects of nitrogen narcosis felt very similar to being intoxicated. I felt very euphoric, laughed all the time and behaved like a little child and had a hard time concentrating. Everybody was throwing balloons and having a blast. Good times.

I heard stories of guys stories of guys starting to strip or a woman who tried to seduce every man in the chamber while under nitrogen narcosis, but (un)fortunately this didn’t happen for us.

However, I can see how the euphoria and clouded judgement can become dangerous while scuba diving and lead to a lot of diving accidents. It was very interesting to see, how one’s behavior changes while diving deep. It’s something that I haven’t noticed while diving.

If you are a scuba diver: Have you ever experienced rapture of the deep while diving?

Disclaimer: Please don’t dive 50 meters deep to test rapture of the deep on yourself because of this post. 😉

Pic by SteelCityHobbies

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