There is nothing like the sense of contentment that comes from outdoor swimming, particularly in warm ocean waters. When you slide completely under the surface, your entire relationship with the world as you know it shifts. All sound is reduced to the white noise of water rushing past your ears. Your limbs appear long and graceful, as they dance through the diffused light. Small air bubbles cling to your skin temporarily, inviting you to pause and meditate on the universe’s mysteries. The length of time most of us get to continuously experience an underwater life is two minutes (at our best) before we need air. But, Austrian free diver Herbert Nitsch, a multiple world record holder, can hold his breath for over nine minutes, allowing him to experience diving in ways we never will.
Called “the deepest man on Earth,” Nitsch owns over 30 records across multiple free diving disciplines. But, the one that is the most impressive (to the point of seeming impossible) is his 2012 achievement in no limit free diving. He descended 253.2 meters (830.7 feet) on a single breath of air. That’s more than three-quarters the height of the Eiffel Tower. It’s over twice the height of the Golden Gate Bridge. A lot of us struggle to dive to the bottom of the pool.
Despite a serious case of decompression illness that left him in a wheelchair for a period of time, Nitsch shows no signs he will ever cease slicing neatly through the water in deep dives. Now, he is bringing us along with him. In this 360-degree video, you can join the impressive diver under the water and look at the oceanic world from many angles. Just put your cursor on the screen and slide it to move the camera. You can check out ocean rocks and shells, the sun shining brightly through the surface of the water, and Nitsch moving as if he was born to exist in the sea. You get most of the sensations of gliding through the ocean, without having to hold your breath for nine minutes.