Da Vinci's underwater breathing apparatus. Drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) of his design for a snorkel-like breathing tube. At the top of the device is a float, whose domed shape prevents water from entering the breathing tubes. The tubes contain an inlet and outlet valve, and the sac below the chin of the user (bottom centre) is designed to collect waste. At left, a detail of the tubes is shown they are formed of hollow canes linked by a double helix of coiled, flexible tubing to allow more freedom of movement. Due to the increasing pressure at depth, it is impossible for a snorkeller to inhale air at atmospheric pressure at even a metre down, as the lung muscles are not strong enough to work against the pressure.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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