You May Not Get To The Moon But You Can Still Try Moonwalking in Gran Canaria

Over the last week we have all seen once again the footage of astronauts, walking on the moon over 40 years ago. I can remember clearly where I was when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, and took those first cautious steps. Yet by later missions the astronauts bounced along at a much faster rate, leaping forward and up in elegant bounces with each step.

Seeing the astronauts perform such a feat always made me feel a little jealous, knowing that the chances of ever walking on the moon were almost nil. However many years later I finally got to moonwalk, and I can now practice it whenever I want, and at the same time experience the sort of emotions that the astronauts may have felt in the alien environment of the lunar atmosphere.

Where and how can you achieve this? Simple - try scuba diving in the ocean!

When you scuba dive you dress up very much like an astronaut in a protection suit, mask and self contained air supply, then you enter an environment that is as alien as outer space. And like an astronaut, you experience weighlessness and can float effortlessly in three dimensions. In perfectly clear water the sensation is incredibly peaceful. And if you want to moonwalk, then you can find an area of sand or seabed where there is no marine life that can be damaged and practice these wonderful slow motion bounces along the bottom.

If there is one thing that is different, it is that the underwater world is full of alien creatures! If you are looking for weird creatures with strange habits then the oceans of the world are full of them - from the Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) with it's amazing ability to flash messages in colour using the whole of it's body, to strange molluscs like the Giant Anemone (Telmatactis cricoides) which looks like a flower, yet has poisoned barbs it can shoot out to capture small fish, and has even been known to capture and devour a small angel shark.

I am fortunate enough to meet these weird creatures nearly every day in the warm clear waters of one of the best places to dive in Europe, the El Cabrón Marine Reserve in Gran Canaria. We meet the weird 'aliens' such as hermit crabs, seahorses, comb jellies every day, and if you dive at night one of the most unusual creatures is Bonellia viridis, a flat tape-worm about a metre long which retracts as if on a spring when you shine the torch on it. I can also relax and practice my moonwalking whenever I want (It is actually easier to moonwalk backwards when you have fins on !).

So if you want to have many of the sensations of being in outer space, try exploring 'inner space' or the oceans of the world and learn how to Scuba dive. Not only will you enjoy the peace and serenity, the feeling of floating effortlesly in 'zero gravity', but, unlike real spacemen, you can come face to face with some of the amazingly weird creatures who already live there.

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