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Neanderthals may have practiced freediving

Discussion in 'Snorkeling / Freediving' started by dewdropsonrosa, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. dewdropsonrosa

    dewdropsonrosa Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seattle, WA
    Pop-science article: Free-Diving Neanderthals Gathered Tools From the Seafloor

    Original research: Neandertals on the beach: Use of marine resources at Grotta dei Moscerini (Latium, Italy) (open access)

    chillyinCanada and WeRtheOcean like this.
  2. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    Pretty sure I've seen a few still diving around our way. The large forehead and protruding jaw are usually a giveaway.
    EdC, AfterDark, Schwob and 8 others like this.
  3. WeRtheOcean

    WeRtheOcean Nassau Grouper

    Given that no other extant ape is aquatic, and among monkeys, only the proboscis monkey, it suggests that our propensity to play in the water is a synapomorphy, from our shared ancestor with the Neanderthals. I wonder if its evolutionary origin can be pinpointed -- i.e. before or after Homo erectus or Homo habilis.
    RyanT, AfterDark and chillyinCanada like this.
  4. lowwall

    lowwall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
    There's the Japanese Snow Monkeys that like to hang out in hot springs :)
  5. drk5036

    drk5036 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Sapporo, Japan
    Free diving is wild. As someone who hasn’t trained at all, when I snorkel I can dive down and equalize since I have scuba training, but I can only get to probably like 3 meters for 20 seconds before I come back up. But I also know humans are easily capable of extending this to 2 minutes and significantly longer with just some simple training. As you mentioned, I guess this is probably an important feature of humans that differentiates us from other animals
    IncreaseMyT likes this.
  6. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois

    I was unaware you met me on a dive. Say "hi" next time will ya! ☺
    eleniel, Graeme Fraser and AfterDark like this.
  7. UGLY

    UGLY Divemaster Candidate

    Not sure that this is what the above was saying. Anyhow, check out "mammalian diving reflex". A good way to frame evolutionary fitness in this context.
    AfterDark likes this.
  8. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    If you see me in the water you'd think they still do! :)
  9. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    That's what sometimes saves children from actually dying after "drowning"; it's thought to be more prevailing in children, but I'll bet it's what makes the difference between freedivers and champion freedivers. The champs have learned how to find it again or never lost it and control it.
  10. IncreaseMyT

    IncreaseMyT Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Naples, FL
    I actually did a online free diving class with immersion free diving. It is like $40 bucks and I learned a ton.

    Everything said is completely correct, and I would like to add that the mammalian reflex (dive reflex) can be conditioned and this is how you get longer breath holds. It is like running, the more you run, the farther you can run. Same with the mammalian reflex, the more you practice, the stronger this reflex becomes.

    If you really want to learn how to hold your breath longer, the key is learning how to fill up your lungs completely. I bet even though you think your filling up your lungs, you are only filling them up 50%. I literally doubled my breath hold times immediately after taking the immersion free diving class. So I highly recommend it.

    He also teaches a lot of safety stuff, and one thing you can start practicing right away is hook breaths. You want to do this every single time you come to the surface, whether you're down there for 5 seconds, or five minutes.

    A lot of people don't realize that 90% of blackouts (shallow water blackout) when free diving actually happen after you have surfaced, not before you surface. In the class he even has videos of this actually happening. I thought I knew what a blackout looked like but I was wrong, and seeing it with my own eyes really helped me to understand how to identify it so I can save my buddy if need be.

    Ok Hook breaths. These greatly reduce the chances of you blacking out. Here is how it works:

    1. After hitting the surface inhale and hold breath for 3 seconds (exhale fast) but not all the way.

    2. Repeat 1

    3. Repeat 1

    So basically you are just going to take a very short breath, not a full breath, after surfacing and hold for 3 seconds, then exhale, not all the way, but quickly. Do this 3 times in a row.

    This helps keep the pressure to your brainstem, preventing a pulmonary dump.

    When we ascend the greatest pressure change is the last 10 feet. This can cause cause a dump and now no blood or oxygen is getting to the brain, and this causes a blackout.

    Hook breaths only work if you do them every single time you surface.

    Even though blackouts can happen when holding your breath for around a minute or less, they are far less likely to happen when holding your breath under 1 minute. So practicing your hook breaths, making them become habit is a good thing to do even before you start holding your breath longer than a minute.

    If you hold your breath longer than a minute, your chances of a blackout increases greatly. So until you are really comfortable, and so is your buddy, I would keep them under a minute. You will be surprised how deep you can dive in only a minute, and it feels like an eternity when holding your breath. Most of free diving is a mind game.

    Hope this helps and makes sense, let me know if you have any questions.

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