Iron Dome

by wjw on January 10, 2016

domesmallWTF? Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Scattered about the ocean floor off the Northwest Point of Providenciales are found a number of these curious objects.  Once upon a time, they formed an actual iron underwater dome used during the filming of a pilot episode for a French reality show, a sort of Francophone version of “Survivor.”

On this program, contestants on a nearby uninhabited island performed tasks such as building huts, finding water, making tools, etc.  When a task was successfully completed, a contestant was awarded a bracelet.  Bracelets could be used as victory points in the finale, or traded in for favors and goodies.

One of the tasks assigned was to dive 30 feet/10 meters into this iron dome, retrieve treasure or some other useful object, and then return to the surface with the loot.  This was done without actual diving gear.

As diving this deep is pretty taxing without equipment, and the contestants had to hold their breath the whole time, they were offered the option of trading a bracelet in exchange for a breath of air from “mermaids,” who were floating around in the dome offering hits off a scuba tank, after which the contestant would complete the task and return to the surface.

Just to repeat:  The contestants would dive to 10 meters, breathe air pressurized to two atmospheres, then rise to sea level while holding their breath.  Does anyone else see a problem here?

Can anyone say “pneumothorax?”  How about “mediastinal emphysema?”

How about “Convulsions?”  “Paralysis?”  “Loss of consciousness?”  “Stroke?”  “Death?”

Apparently none of the contestants actually died, but a number of them were really, really damaged.  As a result of the casualties, Caicos now has a very nice recompression chamber.

For some reason, French TV failed to pick up the series after its pilot episode.

(I don’t know why not.  You’d think there would be a devoted audience for any show that actually killed the young, pretty, witless Hollywood wannabes who appear on this type of program.)

Hurricanes have altered the topography of the iron dome and scattered its broken bits over the sea floor, where they now act as host to a variety of sea life, including crabs, eels, nudibranchs, corals, schooling fish, and gangs of scuba divers.

It was a great night dive, too.

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