So I think I learned this in Cozumel, but I’ve seen it in Fiji and Palau and the Bahamas and here, too, when you’re underwater, or when you’re not underwater, but I learned this from other scuba divers, and it’s how I’ve seen it used, I’ve only seen it used underwater when someone’s, you know, landed hard on a reef and fucked it up, or kicked someone accidentally, or whatever.
But the flying asshole, it starts out as the ok sign, that circle with your forefinger and thumb, but then you wave the rest of your fingers and sort of bounce your hand across.
It’s the universal sign for, “I’m fine, but how about that flying asshole?”
Informant was an underwater photographer and for many years, and divers do have their own formal sign language, but an informal sign language has developed around the standardized one, particularly among professional divers–people who do it for money, rather than enjoy it as an expensive hobby. It seems to separate the sheep from the goats, the dabblers from the polished pros, while establishing the same sort of class division any other difference in dialect might.