P6_2 Theoretical Limit to the Depth at Which a Snorkel May Be Used

Alexander Toohie, Joe McGuire, Alex Pohl


Using simple mechanics and basic information on the human body we impose various limits on the
length of a snorkel used for breathing underwater. The volume of a human lung and our need for
oxygen imposes a limit of 5.9L on the volume of the snorkel, roughly corresponding to a length of
13.6m. The buoyancy force of a snorkel imposes a limit of 2.7m to prevent constant floating, and
the limit imposed by the strength of a plastic tube is of the order 8km.

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