Different Dives, Different Splashes

Child doing a cannonball into a lake.

When you throw a rock into a puddle, it makes a splash. The rock hits the surface and pushes water away. The water that was displaced rushes back to fill in the space that the rock left behind. This movement causes a splash. You can make a splash by doing a cannonball into the water. Jump as high as you can and hold your knees against your chest. Your balled-up body has a large surface area. When you hit the water, you make a hole. The larger the surface area, the bigger the hole. The bigger the hole, the bigger the splash!

Professional diver doing a splashless dive.

Sometimes making a big splash is not the goal. In the sport of diving, one of the ways athletes earn their score is by making the smallest splash possible as they enter the water. The smaller the splash, the higher the score. To achieve this goal, divers enter the water as quickly and as vertically as possible. A quick turn underwater minimizes the splash. Divers bend their bodies at the waist to create an air cavity underwater. This prevents a splash from forming.

What Can You Do? Would you like watch someone do a splashless dive? Or maybe you want to make a big splash by doing a cannonball. Which one would be your favorite to try?

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Photo Credit: (t)Shutterstock / Anastasia Tveretinova, (b)FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT / Contributor/Getty Images