White Hands

I have observed something underwater that I have not read about or heard about anywhere. If I am not mistaken, I noticed it during my first logged dive. I don’t recall what depth we were at, but I noticed that the bottom of my instructor’s hands were white.

By “white,” I mean chalkboard chalk white. It looked as white as if he had a thick layer of baby powder on his hands. It completely covered his palms and the bottoms of his fingers. I looked down, and saw that my hands were equally white.

I am guessing that this is from the water pressure. If you squeeze a finger tip to test capillary reflex, it turns white. As soon as you release the pressure, the blood and normal coloration returns quickly. Well, it should, but that is a different subject.

I next noticed that my normal coloration returned before my instructor’s. I have noticed on subsequent dive that he loses color before me, and regains color after me.

What captured my attention is not that this happens, because I am aware of capillary reflex. What got my attention is that this does not seem to be written about or spoken about anywhere. It is not even in the video safety briefing before the Discover SCUBA or Open Water Diver courses.

Therefore, I am surprised to not know of any stories of any first-time divers panicking. Personally, I was fascinated by it. But, I have considered that new divers could potentially have other reactions.

One thought on “White Hands

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