This one's pretty specific, but underwater cave exploration. Cave diving got its start back in the late 60s/early 70s. It developed a reputation for being extremely dangerous, mainly due to the lack of training and general unreliability of equipment. Lots of people died and valuable lessons were learned from the causal factors. Today, equipment is extremely reliable if properly maintained. The likelihood of experiencing a major failure is slim. Training has also developed exponentially to the point where a well trained cave diver with high quality, well maintained equipment takes on more risk driving to the dive site than actually cave diving. As a result of this, along with technological innovation, exploration is blowing up. Highly experienced teams are laying miles of survey line at depths exceeding 300'. I've seen pictures and video of previously unexplored cave passages that have seen fewer people than the surface of the moon. There are connections waiting to be made and entirely new systems waiting to be discovered. We may have largely explored the surface of the earth, but we know very little about what's underneath the surface (as well as under the oceans). True exploration is alive and well and the only barrier to how far someone can go is how much time, effort, money, and dedication they're willing to put into it.
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