Freediving and Joy of Reading

This week I ripped through another book.

It’s a book that explores the author’s experience learning how to freedive as he connects with various marine researchers.  It’s not the kind of thing that I would have ever considered as an interesting topic to read but there was a surprising amount of satisfaction in reading outside my normal sphere.

There was a bunch of fascinating things that I learned about the human capabilities.

  • the record for holding your breath is 11:54
  • the record with pure oxygen is 24:03
  • the deepest freedive with fins is 360 feet
  • using a sled do go down and balloon to life you up, the deepest freedive was 702 feet
  • scuba diving to either of those depths would be deadly
  • there is some evidence that humans are capable of sensing the earth’s magnetic field
  • there are blind people who have learned echo location using clicks similar to whales
  • sperm whales are the loudest animals on the planet and can be heard over 1000 miles
  • they stun (kill?) and catch their prey using a ‘gunshot’ sound so loud it would kill you
  • there are many (most?) species of sharks that are friendly and playful with divers.

It’s simply astounding that it’s even possible to take a good deep breath, swim down the height of a 33 story building, then turn around and come back up.  In competitions for freediving, competitors routinely blackout while they’re deep under water but humans have a natural response to close  their throat even while unconscious they arrive back at the surface and often blowing on their face is all that’s needed to wake up and be fine.

Reading something outside my normal selection of business, tech and sci-fi in this case resulted in a slew of suprising opportunites to see things from a new perspective. A variety of different lifestyles and norms.