10 Places you didn’t know you could dive!

We scuba divers adore the thrill of discovering unusual underwater experiences. We offer 10 dive destinations you didn't know existed, including a submerged strip club and an active underwater volcano.

1. Dive in a billabong in the Australian rainforest


How many people can say they have gone scuba diving in a rainforest? If you want, you can try freshwater diving in a billabong (also known as a pond) in the center of the Australian rainforest near Finch Hatton, Mackay, Queensland, Australia. Eels, turtles, freshwater shrimp and prawns, and perhaps even the elusive platypus, are all visible here.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, a platypus is an Australian creature that resembles a cross between an otter and a beaver due to its body and fur as well as a duck due to its bill and webbed feet. Even though it may sound unusual, it is fantastic to see a platypus in its natural setting. 


Suitable for: All levels.

Best time to visit: Year round. While it is rare to see a platypus the best time to see one is at dusk.

Depth: 2m.

2. Dive an active underwater volcano

The Golden Scope

If you enjoy living on the edge, you should visit the Sangihe Islands in Indonesia; there, you can get the chance to dive beneath an underwater active volcano! You can tell it is still active even though it hasn't erupted since 1968.

While you're underwater, the volcano may be heard rumbling and even seen bubbling at a sweltering 37 degrees Celsius. To ensure the right time to dive the volcano and that you are wearing the proper suit protection, this dive must be conducted under the supervision of a diving shop.

Suitable for: Depends on the dive center, but generally open water divers and above can dive this site. Note it can only be accessed via a liveaboard.

Best time to visit: March to November, and it is best to dive in the morning to avoid the strong currents.

Depth: 20m.

3. Dive a Japanese underwater pyramid

Sport Diver

The Yonaguni Monument in Japan is shrouded in mystery and is frequently referred to as an underwater Machu Picchu or the Atlantis of the East. The Yonaguni Monument is a sandstone and mud pyramid building that is situated 100 km off the east coast of Taiwan. It is 75 m long and 20 m deep.

Is it a man-made structure or a naturally occurring formation? Nobody is really sure, but the website is still fairly incredible. The Hammerhead Sharks, which migrate between January and March, can be swum with there as well.

Suitable for: Advanced divers with a minimum of 100 dives.

Best time to visit: During the winter months (December to March), but the currents can be strong.

Depth: 25m.

4. Dive an Iceberg


Arctic Dream

Imagine viewing an iceberg from below the sea's surface. It's exciting enough to see one for the first time above the water. In Greenland's Sermilik Fjord, this is one of the best things to do. You'll not only get a unique opportunity to see an iceberg, but you can also witness kelp forests, catfish, sea cucumbers, seals, and even whales (humpback, minke, and orca)!

Greenland is one of the best spots to see the Northern Lights, not to mention above the water! You must use special regulators that won't freeze and wear a dry suit because the water is literally freezing where you are.

Suitable for: The qualifications vary depending on the diving center, but often an Open Water certification is needed, as well as experience diving in cold water while wearing a dry suit (20 dives must have been documented in the previous two years).

Best time to visit: Year round. 

Depth: 15m.

5. Dive an abandoned Prison Camp

Visit Estonia

Visit Rummu, an abandoned Soviet prison camp in Estonia, if you want to have a frightening experience. The prison was located next to a quarry, and when it was closed in 2012, the water pumping stopped, therefore the prison and its surroundings were submerged, making it a popular destination for scuba divers.

On this dive, you will observe several loose dangerous objects like barbed wire and mining equipment as well as well-preserved buildings with still-existing window bars. Be aware that this site is privately held, thus in order to dive there, you must obtain permission from the owners. Alternatively, you can dive as part of a scheduled trip.

Suitable for: All levels, even a first-time diver.

Best time to visit: Winter and midsummer are the best times to visit. Visibility is about 15m.

Depth: 13m max depth.

6. Dive an Underwater Museum

Amusing Planet

Did you know that there is an underwater museum at Cape Tarkhankut, Crimea, that was established back in 1992? Underwater museums have recently sprouted up in areas like Mexico, Grenada, and Florida. Just after the Soviet Union fell apart, several sculptures of Soviet leaders were being disposed away in landfills. Lenin's statue was placed on the shore of Cape Tarkhankut by diver Vladmimir Borumenski, who subsequently discovered it had been vandalized and decided to submerge it.

As more divers joined in, sculptures of other former Soviet leaders like Marx and Stalin began to fill the underwater space. There are currently more than 50 underwater sculptures, and the collection, which has been dubbed "Alley of Leaders," has grown to include famous monuments like the London Bridge and the Eiffel Tower as well as statues of musicians and artists.

Suitable for: All levels.

Best time to visit: Year round. Visibility is about 10m. 

Depth: 12m.

7. Dive an underwater forest

Visit Norway

Think of plunging into a body of clean water and discovering a vast forest below you. If you dive in the Norwegian lake Lygnstoylsvatnet, you will get such experience. The Lygnstoylsvatnet lake, also known as Norway's Atlantis, was created in 1908 as a result of an avalanche that occurred on the adjacent mountain Keipen, which caused boulders to fall and create a dam over a settlement of farmyards.

Over time, flooding changed the region into the lake that it is today. If you go scuba diving at Lygnstoylsvatnet, you'll witness old farmyard buildings that are in various stages of decay, stone fences and bridges, and old apple trees that give the impression of an underwater forest.

Suitable for: All levels.

Best time to visit: April and May offer the clearest views, while late August offers the best views of the lovely mossy green hue of the forest floor, which gives the impression that grass has replaced it.

Depth: 5-13m.

8. Dive an underwater strip club


The Nymphas Show Bar, a former restaurant, bar, and strip club, is located a few meters below the red sea in Eliat, Israel. It was shut down in 2012. It was just rediscover by diver Gil Koplovitz, and divers are now starting to take notice of it. The podiums and stripper poles have been preserved, and you can view them when diving through the enormous windows. Even if there are no longer any dancers, it still makes for an intriguing and distinctive dive!

Suitable for: All levels.

Best time to visit: Year round.

Depth: Just a few meters below the surface.

9. Dive a sunken pirate city

Compare Caribbean

Because of its pirates, prostitutes, and drunkenness, Port Royal in Jamaica used to be referred to be the world's most wicked city. When an earthquake and tsunami struck in 1962, the city began to sink into the water. It was believed that the 2000 fatalities were the result of the evil of the deceased.

Only with a specific government permit can you dive the site today. There are still some shallow shipwrecks, vibrant fish, and coral, as well as the city ruins, that can be explored in Jamaica, despite the fact that many of the treasures have been unearthed and kept in museums.

Suitable for: Advanced divers.

Best time to visit: December to April. Visibility can be poor at around 1-2m.

Depth: 12m.

10. Dive an underwater Egyptian palace

This is Africa

Cleopatra's Palace in Alexandria, which was constructed by Alexander the Great and dates to 300 BC, is a fascinating dive destination. Due to an earthquake or tsunami, something that was once on land is now in the sea.

Sphinx statues, enormous Roman columns, carvings, and even a vintage WWII plane can still be found inside the ruins, despite the fact that many of the pieces have been unearthed and displayed in museums all over the world. You can even exchange vows underwater in Cleopatra's Palace for an extra-special occasion!

Suitable for: All levels. You can even do an intro dive here.

Best time to visit: No known best time. The water is murky and visibility can be poor between 1m-5m. 

Depth: 5-12m.


About the Author

Amanda and her husband Dean have been certified divers since 2009. Amanda has her advanced open water and Dean is a dive master. They have travelled the world and dived many sites in Australia, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.

Amanda and Dean have a travel blog called Scatabout which details the fun and unique experiences they have had on their world travels. You can find them doing something adventurous like scuba diving, hiking or something strange like running down the side of a building.

You can follow Scatabout:


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