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OverviewA snorkel is a device used for breathing under water. The typical snorkel is made of a short, hollow tube with one end inserted into the mouth and the other end extended up over the surface of the water. With a snorkel properly in place, a swimmer can breathe normally with their face completely under water. A basic snorkel can be nothing more than a hollow reed, while a commercial, purpose-built snorkel is usually made of curved plastic and rubber and has a contoured bite-piece to help hold it in the mouth.