Martini’s Law: A malady of gases

Some know it as the “Rapture of the Deep,” others simply as, “being Narced,” but in my experience the most relevant nomenclature thus proposed for the diving syndrome that is nitrogen narcosis remains: Martini’s Law.

Now some of you may be more familiar with those “other” laws pertinent to diving coined by your friends and mine, Henry, Boyle, Charlie, and Dalton. Important? Undoubtably. But when it comes to having a good time, Martini has got your back.

Take some of these examples for instance:



All epic dance moves and aquatic musical melodies aside, nitrogen narcosis is quite real. This phenomenon occurs because breathing nitrogen (and certain other gases for that matter) at high partial pressures can have a narcotic effect. Now the deeper you go, the greater the partial pressure of the gas (Dalton’s law sneaks in). Thus, with depth, diver’s have a higher likelihood of narcosis.

So why exactly is it so lovingly referred to as Martini’s Law?

Well, if we were to compare a diver under the influence of narcosis and your buddy at the bar “suffering” from one to a couple of martini’s, we would get virtually similar results. Just like Mr. Martini, narcosis can impair your ability to make good decisions, use your motor skills to not trip over that girl at the sand bar or compute that your gauges (and or friends) are really telling you you’ve reached your limit. It is estimated that starting anywhere from 60 to 100 feet (depending on the susceptibility  of the diver) it can be the equivalent to drinking one martini. And as I said before, with the increase in partial pressures at depth, the deeper you go, the more you drink, and the farther down the rabbit hole you fall.

Remember kids: Friends don’t let friends dive narced. As funny as Martini’s Law might seem when you are the onlooker, similar to drinking, narcosis can also induced negative effects. From a panicked emotional state to not realizing the direction you think is up, is actually down. Unfortunately, not all expressions of narcosis are epic dance parties. Luckily, if the symptoms are caught soon enough and without extreme impairment to the diver, narcosis is easily remedied by moving to a shallower depth.

So with that, we experience Martini’s Law for realsies. (Side note: Originally, I searched for a drink made with Liquid Nitrogen, but it appeared that was actually quite dangerous. So don’t do it.)

Thus, Batender’s Choice for this malady of gases:


Source: Molecular Recipes

The Rapture of the Deep

(aka Cranberry Bubbles Cosmo)


– 380 g (13.4 oz) cranberry juice

– 1.5 g egg white powder (or 1 g Versawhip)

– 1 g Xanthan Gum (buy Xanthan Gum)


1-Using immersion blender mix cranberry juice and egg white powder.

2- Add the Xanthan gum and mix again with immersion blender until completely dissolved.

3- Connect a clean PVC hose to a fish tank air pump and insert the other end in the mix.

4- Turn the pump on and let bubbles collect for a few minutes.

Assemble and Serve:

1-Make your favorite Cosmopolitan cocktail.

2-With a slotted spoon collect some cranberry bubbles and place on top.




“The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving” A PADI publication. Editor: Drew Richardson

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