The Sama-Bajau have acquired physical attributes that allow them to stay underwater for extended periods of time as a result of more than 1000 years of freediving and nautical culture.
When we hold our breath and dive underwater, our bodies respond by slowing our heartbeat and narrowing our blood vessels. Most of us would be depleted of oxygen after a few minutes, which can harm organs, notably the brain. It frequently results in cardiorespiratory arrest and, finally, death.
With little freediving practice, you can improve the length of time you spend underwater by a few minutes. However, there is little prospect of ever catching up with the Sama-Bajau, who can stay underwater for up to 13 minutes at a depth of 230 feet on a single breath (70 meters).
Sama-Bajau is a collective designation for a group of indigenous people who believe themselves to be a single unique ethnic group or nation. They reside in Southeast Asia’s waterways and are known for surviving off the land and fishing. The Bajau live in long houseboats called lepas, or wooden cottages erected on the water near the beach. During maritime storms, they only come ashore to trade or seek refuge. As a result, the Bajau are commonly referred to as “Sea Gypsies” or “Sea Nomads.” While other cultures living so close to the water have existed throughout history, the Bajau may be the only maritime people alive now.
They are good free divers since they make their income mostly from fishing. In reality, Bajau divers spend more than 5 hours each day below, and they have the longest daily diving duration without breathing of any human species. Bajau youngsters learn to swim and dive at a young age, and they start fishing and hunting when they are only 8 years old. They help around the house or go to the beach in their spare time.
To improve their diving talents, some Bajau purposefully rupture their own eardrums in order to better tolerate the pressure of the water. As a result, many elderly divers are deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly
The Sama-Bajau appear to be scientifically unique from other people because to millennia of consistent freediving and closeness to water. Their amazing capabilities, according to research published in the scientific journal Cell, are the result of a genetic abnormality. According to the study, the Bajau people’s spleens are one and a half times the size of the average land-dwelling person’s. This genetic adaption is most likely the outcome of natural selection, and it is what allows them to live on the water.
The spleen aids the immune system by regenerating and storing red blood cells. When humans swim, their spleen contracts and releases oxygenated red blood cells into their circulation. As a result, a bigger spleen allows for longer breath-hold dives because it can contain a greater reserve of red blood cells, letting the body to take in more oxygen. In addition to their amazing spleens, the Bajau have acquired superb underwater eyesight.
However, the survival of this unique group of people is jeopardized by large-scale fishing, which has made it increasingly difficult for the Bajau to make a livelihood and rely only on fishing. People in the neighboring areas likewise look down on them and consider them inferior.
As a result, more and more people are abandoning the oceans, and it appears like it’s just a matter of time before the Sama-Bajau and their incredible attributes vanish.