Viral Video of Blackwater Diving Video Freaks Out the Internet

A viral video showing what it is like to go blackwater diving has freaked out and enthralled social media users.

Blackwater diving takes place at night time. The diver is tethered to a boat over very deep water and left to witness the unique creatures that emerge from the depths.

The video was created by Instagram user Brittney Weidemann and reposted to TikTok by ocean exploration and diver training organization Padi, begins by showing the diver's feet, barely visible above pitch-black water.

Strange sea creatures then begin to emerge from the depths below, including a ctenophora, also known as a comb jelly. The ctenophora can be seen flashing the colors of the rainbow, which can only be seen in the dark.

Comb Jelly fish
A stock photo shows a ctenophora, a bioluminescent deep water see creature LagunaticPhoto/Getty Images

Creatures that dwell in the deep ocean are often bioluminescent, caused by a light-emitting chemical reaction within their bodies.

The video, which has over 9,000 likes, is captioned "would you dare try black water diving?" Many people in the comments make it clear that they would not.

One TikTok user, tailsofamermaid commented: "I feel completely comfortable in the knowledge that I will go to my grave never having done a blackwater dive."

Another, paulbruneau9 said: "I would have to fight every inch of my being not to scream silent bubbles."

The video was also reposted to Reddit community thalassophobia, where many expressed fear at the prospect of a black water dive.

RighteousAudacity commented: "It's awesome to see those creatures, but I'll let others film, thank you."

However Eric Albinsson, instructor development programs specialist at Padi and black water diving expert, told Newsweek that while many express fear at the sport, divers are not actually very deep underwater themselves and are safely tethered to a boat at all times.

"Some divers may find the fact that they are over such deep water scary or daunting especially since it's taking place at night. However, since each diver is tethered to the boat and everyone has their own set of lights, it is actually a very easy form of diving," Albinsson said. "No swimming, no navigating! Just hang on the line and gently drift along enjoying the magical experience of seeing creatures very few people on our planet will ever see!"

Bioluminescent
Most creatures that blackwater divers will encounter are planktonic, meaning they live in the water column between the bottom of the ocean and the surface Randy Wright

Most creatures that blackwater divers will encounter are planktonic, Albinsson said, meaning they live in the water column between the bottom of the ocean and the surface, drifting with oceanic currents.

"The creatures that you see on backwater dives are almost impossible to describe here that in any way makes justice to their diversity, magnificence, and uniqueness," he said. "They're generally small, an inch or two, and many are the larval or juvenile stages of more familiar animals."

The creatures could be larvae of both reef fish and pelagic fish species, Albinsson said. They could also be the larvae of octopi, squid, tunicates or anemones.

"There are also a multitude of jellyfish species that migrate from the deep to the surface to feed each night. It's a true kaleidoscope of life," he said.

Before divers get into the water, Albinsson said bright lights mimicking moonlight are turned on underwater to attract microscopic zooplankton, which in turn attracts the bioluminescent creatures.

The ocean largely remains a mystery to humans. Around 80 percent of the ocean has never been seen. Humans have explored a higher percentage of the moon and planet Mars then the ocean floor.

Albinsson said blackwater diving is a "magical experience."

"Hanging weightless within that blackness and seeing the sparkles of the light reflecting off the surface of the tiny creatures around you must be the closest to experiencing what astronauts experience when they undertake a spacewalk between the blue of the Earth and the sparkling of the stars in the blackness of space," he said.