If you’ve ever donned scuba gear, you owe a bit of gratitude to Christian Lambertsen, who headed to the great reef in the sky yesterday. Lambertsen not only invented the hell out of scuba gear, but coined the term itself.
It’s an acronym, remember? Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus! Lambertsen gave that title to the new style of underwater exploration her pioneered, thanks mainly to his Lambertsen Underwater Respiratory Unit, or LARU. The LARU was the forefather of contemporary scuba gear—what’s known as a “rebreather,” that captured and recycled discarded oxygen in a separate tank rather than venting it out into the water. It was a lighter and more compact design, but one later replaced by oceanic legend Jacques Cousteau’s Aqua-Lung, which spat your breath out into the sea. [via The Atlantic]