3 Icky Things No One Tells You About SCUBA

There’s a lot to learn about SCUBA diving, and most of your learning will happen “on the job,” so to speak. There will naturally be some things that people prioritize on the need-to-know list more than others, but there are a few kind of…well, gross things that may not come up during your initial training, so allow us to give you a little heads up. You will become accustomed to these facts of diving sooner than you think, so there’s nothing to get worked up about. Just know that these little trifles are normal in the SCUBA world, and they become part of everyone’s dives.


No, this is not a joke, and yes, you will spit in your mask. If you want to see anything underwater, that is. You see, the pocket of air between your nose/eyes/skin and the lens of your mask can become quite humid, which causes condensation on the inside of your mask. This is not at all what you’re going for. You need some kind of anti-fog solution to treat the lenses of your mask before your dive. Great news for you: such a product exists on the market! But you didn’t bring it on the boat? Well, your dive could be foiled, or you can just spit in your mask, rub it all over the inside of the lenses, and give it a final rinse in the water. Problem solved. A bit icky, but it works every time. Kind of makes you wonder what’s in the commercial defoggers that has the same effect as saliva, no?


We probably don’t need to tell you that dive boats and dive sites are not known for their well-stocked and maintained restrooms, but if you hydrate properly before the dive, you’re going to need one at some point. It’s surprisingly hard to make yourself do it for the first time, because it goes against everything your body has known since you were a toddler, but you will pee in your wetsuit at least once. There are some divers who swear that they have never — and will never — pee in their wetsuit, but just know that if you need to, you’re not a sick freak. And on those cold dives, peeing in your wetsuit definitely has its advantages. Just be sure to utilize those wetsuit shampoos and conditioners to make it a little less gross — if it even bothers you at all!


Ah, the mucus. Probably the biggest ick of them all. When diving, especially in cold water, you will notice an increase in your mucus production, which will be coming out of your nose and mouth upon surfacing. Some divers have even experienced bloody mucus, but that usually pertains to other issues than water pressure. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal (no matter how embarrassing) to have slime dripping from your face when you come up, just turn away and rinse off in the water real quick, and you’ll be just fine. There’s no way around it. It’s just biology.

Original images via Bramus!quinetEd.ward


  1. Agreed. The first time you hork a loogie into the mask and start smearing it around its a bit unsettling, but it can’t be avoided so you get used to it, and perhaps learn to enjoy it knowing the benefit it provides. And on occasion while taking part in a beginners scuba class at a local pool, I’ve found myself making the horking sound extra loud for gross out effect of the general swimmers who have not yet been initiated into this scuba diving right of passage.

  2. How funny and true!!!

  3. Although the warm pee can be a temporary relief when you are freezing your arse off!!! ;)=

  4. All has explanation! Simple physics!

  5. And who doesnt enjoy a good snot bubble now and then LOL

  6. Scuba diving is different from snow skiing! In both, you can look cool when you start, but in diving there is NO way you can look cool at the end – with green snot hanging from your nose and a wetsuit that reeks of urine when you inzip. Diving is still better… much better!

  7. What a pile of bullshit! You always have your mouth full of spit, your pee is sterile, and guess what? You are swimming in fish feces! How about the mucus after running or working out? If you are so picky that you cary about these “icky” issues, please stay home and don’t pollute the ocean with your presence.

  8. just as long as you don’t get pee and mucus into your mask.

  9. Just don’t crap in your wetsuit.

  10. My dad was a diver for the NYSP. Besides the horrifying weeks dead bodies they had to recover, they often had to dive in Lake Ontario, or some smaller lake under the ice in February. They all peed in their wetsuits as a matter of course before jumping in just to survive the shock of 32* water.

    First time he took me under the ice, he intentionally didn’t tell me this, so I’d know it’s a good thing to do in the future.

  11. Peeing in wetsuit is fine. Peeing in drysuit is not as good. Pooping in either is just wrong.

  12. my boyfriend thinks it hot when i spit in my mask x)

  13. SCUBA is the topic. I seriously cannot believe I have to critique on such blatant irrelevancy! It’s a complete pile of (…) and, oh yes, derisive. Let’s start a new topic on how we can protect underwater nature through SCUBA.


  14. I knew all three ‘Hazards’ before reading the article. Does that make me an expert diver now ;P

  15. ^^Is that stick up your ass, Masha, or are you just always a rude, snobby bore? Jump on down off your high horse for a while. You might actually smile.

  16. There are two types of divers out there: Those that pee in their wetsuit, and those that lie about it.

  17. I like to use other peoples spit in my mask.

  18. That’s why I don’t rent wetsuits. 🙂

  19. Take up running and you’ll learn to launch snot and never miss a step. Done all three, no big deal

  20. Me too…it’s no big deal compared to the wonderful underwater world!

  21. Forgot to mention when you need to, uhhh, get sick at 30+ feet. Hold onto your mask and …. But ooohhh the wonderful colors and wonders of the deep. Nothing can compare. If anything at least take a trial course. You’ll be hooked. 😉

  22. Do it all the time…no big deal.

  23. I do NOT pee in my wet suit, or haven’t had to yet, and I still have to turn around so nobody sees me spit LOL! Definitely not for the dainty.

  24. 4th thing:getting sea sick and puking hopefuly over the side of the boat, or swimming thru someones puke that got sick from the surge.

  25. I ALWAYS pee in my suit

  26. Yea, and they make for great pictures…

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