Distorting the geometry of an image with a specific periodic pattern can give the illusion of being underwater. This trick was for example employed in the very first version of Quake, either to oscillate the water surface or to modify the view when you jump inside the water. Apparently, it is not difficult to do that, even with pixel-per-pixel manipulation of QImage.
It is recommended to build the program and see the effect by yourself, the following screenshot can hardly describe the animation. As usual, once the example is running (it would show the included bridge picture), you can change the picture by dragging an image (from local disk or a web browser, e.g. Flickr or Picasa Web) and dropping it on the main window.