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No matter how exactly they're made underwater, and how they could contain enough oxygen to allow the character to breathe longer...

You just have to not worry about it too much, because chances are, you'll need these bubbles either way to keep yourself from drowning when you're underwater.

If the character is somehow able to breathe underwater in ways that should actually be impossible for them to do (such as a human character with an overall lack of any scuba gear), then you have Super Not-Drowning Skills, instead.

Common in Video Games where there's no other way to survive underwater besides surfacing for air. Compare with Artificial Gill.

Examples of Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles include:


Action Games

  • They pop up in an underwater level in Karoshi 2.0; of course, this being Karoshi, you're supposed to avoid them so that you can die.


Action Adventure Games

  • These could be gotten from oysters in Ecco the Dolphin, although sometimes you would get a poisoned bubble if you weren't careful.
    • There were also bubble vents available in some places, especially in Defender.
      • Although the oyster ones are deceptive -- they don't give you more air. They restore health, instead. Which, if you had a corridor full of oysters, could in theory serve a similar function as you restore health faster than it drains, but that doesn't ever happen so you'd better find the surface.
  • The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword has these for its underwater segments, as well as poisoned purple bubbles that drain a ton of your breath meter, almost assuring you'll drown if you don't surface ASAP.


Platform Games


MMORPGs

  • Some areas in World of Warcraft have fissures which spew enough oxygen for your character to breathe underwater.


Rougelikes

  • Tales of Maj Eyal has a few underwater levels with stationary (and depletable) bubbles that you have to travel between to avoid suffocation.


Real Life

  • Real Life example: some types of diving beetle (and one diving spider) trap a thin layer of air against their bodies and use these to breathe. The spider even makes an underwater web to trap air in, allowing it to live most of its life underwater.
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