Even if you possess only a passing familiarity with the acclaimed alternate history video game BioShock, chances are you recognize the "Bouncer" variety of the Big Daddies, or cybernetic organisms that live in portholed armor. But did you know that a real-life diving suit from 1882 was an aesthetic antecedent to the Big Daddies?
Check out French brothers Alphonse and Theodore Carmagnolle's undersea explorer outfit, which was so experimental and unwieldy only a single model was built (and never tested). Explains Diving Heritage of this hulking oceanic get-up:
The Carmagnolle suit consists of two pieces. At the middle, a device was made to connect these two parts together. Also a kind of lifting construction was made with which the suit could be lifted in and out of the water. This made the Carmagnolle suit very heavy, the total weight is approximately 380 kilograms. The most recognisable part of the suit is the headpiece. There are 20 ports, of which one is able to be unscrewed. This was made to give the diver inside some fresh air while the suit was bolted together.
Photo credit: Diving Heritage/Vincent Roc Roussey