History of Diving
Diving can be traced back more than 500 years. One of the earliest known documented divers is Scyllis. He was employed by the Persian King Xerxes to recover sunken treasure in the fifth century B.C. and other military exploits. The story of his escape from the Persian King, by Herodotus, is perhaps what he is best known for. Scyllis was being held captive by the Persian King, Xerxes I, during the Grecian naval campaign. When Scyllis learned that Xerxes was going to attack the Greek fleet, he got hold of a knife and jumped overboard. Scyllis couldn’t be found by the Persians so the assumption was that he had drowned. Scyllis resurfaced at night and swam to Xerxes fleet, disabling it by cutting every ship off from its mooring. To avoid being spotted, he used a reed as his snorkel. He then joined up with his fellow Greeks afterwards by swimming nine miles to them.
Denizen of the Sun
Helium was first discovered in the atmosphere of the Sun. It happened in 1868 as the French astronomer Pierre Jules Janssen and the British astronomer Joseph Norman Lockyer did their research.
During a solar eclipse as they studied the light radiated by the Sun and used the method of spectroscopy (where the radiated light was split with a glass prism into lines of different colors), they discovered a new previously unknown line of bright yellow color, could not be associated with any of the already known elements.
Lockyer named the element helium, of the Greek word helios – the Sun. Lockyer believed that the element he discovered was a metal. That is why the Latin term for the substance has this – “um” ending typically used to denote metals.