This 13-year-old Girl Will Become The First “Child” to Scuba Dive Between Tectonic Plates in Iceland
by Owen James Burke
Does confidence come any cooler?
Charlotte Burns of Bromley, England may be just 13 years old, but with over 130 dives under her belt and 25 diving certifications–including the PADI Junior Master Scuba Diver rating, which she obtained two days after turning 12–she’s as ready as anyone to undertake her most intricate dive to date.
Up or down? Photo: Thajudeen Salahudeen/Interesting World Facts 4 U.
While there already lies a great deal of danger in the technicality of the dive, which can induce claustrophobia and disorientation, these are also some of the world’s coldest waters, where a scuba diver is entirely at the mercy of a frighteningly long list of necessary equipment.
This is the mesmerizing maze of bedrock and H2O Charlotte will face in the Silfra Tectonic Fissure, outside Reykjavik in Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park (inside the Arctic Circle).
The Silfra Tectonic Fissure in Iceland is one of many fissures in the world, but it is the only one where a diver can place their palms on both the North American and Eurasian Continents at once, but perhaps not for long: the fissure is opening at a rate of 2cm per year. It also happens to be one of the clearest bodies of water in the world with a visibility of around 100 meters (about 330 feet).
Graphic: Rogue Planet Survival.
Her inspiration? “The fact that, at 13 years old I can do it puts across a clear message that no matter what age you are, anyone can rise to the challenge and get used to diving,” says Bruns. “It works with anything, no matter what age you are and no matter what you want to do, anyone can do anything.”
Sage words. It’s no wonder that, despite a minimum age requirement of 18, Burns has been provided a special waiver on behalf of the Icelandic Government which will legally permit her to make the dive. Backed by Coventry University, British Explorer Monty Halls will tag along and produce a documentary which will be shown in schools around the world.
“I’m looking forward to being between two tectonic plates. It’s really rare to get two tectonic plates that you can dive between and the gap is getting wider so you won’t be able to touch both plates at the same time in the future.”