Freediving is a sport many take very seriously, and there are training courses (like this one, taught by free diving instructor Mark Lozano) where people can learn the techniques needed to safely and comfortably extend their breath hold time underwater. Some learn to freedive as a personal challenge, as a competitive venture, or to gather prey, such as when hunting for abalone or in spearfishing.
Others, however, rely on their free diving skills simply to survive. A recent program by the BBC features one such diver in Malaysia.
In this video, a man named Sulbin descends nearly 70 feet deep – without fins and barefoot. Once he reaches the bottom, he gently walks across the bottom, hunting for fish. After nearly 2 minutes, he spots a fish, spears it, then gently returns to the surface. His dive in this video lasts about 2.5 minutes, however it’s nowhere near the 5 minutes he’s capable of. (Note that he’s actually wearing goggles – and no fins!)
This video is an except from the BBC series Human Planet Explorer, which is focused on discovering amazing human stories from around the world. More can be seen on their website here.
The next time you’re gasping for air after swimming the length of the swimming pool, remember Sulbin.