Bottom's up
February 7, 2015 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Deep water freediving exposes its practitioners to a form of narcosis, which induces several symptoms, among which a feeling of euphoria and levity that earned this phenomenon its nickname of “raptures of the deep”. In the short film, Ocean Gravity, world champion freediver Guillaume Néry shows us what freediving looks like. In the short film, Narcose, he shows us what it feels like. [warning: may be vertigo-inducing, NSFW]

Freediving (and discussion of Néry's other film, Free Fall), previously.
posted by Room 641-A (22 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
The mono-flipper is pretty interesting.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 12:24 PM on February 7, 2015


Wow.

First section; watch porn.
Second; completely terrifying.
Then naked frenchies.

Why at a certain depth gravity is enough to pull him downwards? Also, how is he not crushed?
posted by Keith Talent at 12:33 PM on February 7, 2015


(Oops, I asked the mods to add "NSFW." Sorry about that!)
posted by Room 641-A at 12:44 PM on February 7, 2015


Why at a certain depth gravity is enough to pull him downwards? Also, how is he not crushed?

At a certain depth, IIRC around 30 meters, the remaining air in your body is compressed enough that you become heavier than water. You aren't crushed because the rest of your body is mostly made of water, which is incompressible.

And like the last one, this post is full of NOPE I WOULD NOT DO THAT.
posted by localroger at 12:46 PM on February 7, 2015


The last film (Narcose) is one of the most beautiful things I've seen recently. Thanks.
posted by pjern at 12:55 PM on February 7, 2015


I finished watching ten minutes ago and I still feel like I can't breathe.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:57 PM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


At a certain depth, IIRC around 30 meters, the remaining air in your body is compressed enough that you become heavier than water.

Annnnd now I have a new nightmare.
posted by Songdog at 1:16 PM on February 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Growing up, I spent a lot of time at the beach. My favorite thing to do was to go out to the farthest waves I could reach, wait for a huge wave, and then dive into into head-first. I'd then let myself go totally limp and let the wave tumble me back to the shore. Over and over over. I love being in the water.

On the flip side, the movies Coming Home* and Altered States totally freaked me out about the "dangers" of prolonged submersion, so I never attempted SCUBA, and snorkeling (even in a lagoon!) induces panic-attack levels of vertigo.

There's a part of me that desperately wishes I could do this and a part of me that is just terrified by the idea. But mostly I just want to run into the ocean this second and jump into a wave.

*Air bubbles
posted by Room 641-A at 1:19 PM on February 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


I've heard that Everest climbs without O2 were common, because, real men and all that. Then someone brought along an audio recorder and taped a conversation at the summit. Nothing seemed amiss to anyone up there at the time but then they replayed the tape of themselves "talking" back down here in breathable air, and it was O2 bottles for all of them after that.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:21 PM on February 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Wow.
posted by carter at 1:29 PM on February 7, 2015


For some additional nightmare fuel, free divers call that magic point where the pressure makes you sink instead of float the "doorway to the deep." And I remembered it wrong, it's around 40 feet.
posted by localroger at 1:38 PM on February 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also worth a look: Le Grand Bleu/The Big Blue (dir: Luc Besson)
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:54 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I listened through headphones. It would be cool to have one of these where the diver was instrumented to record breathing/ambient sounds at the start, and then the heart beat/rate during the dive.
posted by carter at 2:02 PM on February 7, 2015


I understand that free diving doesn't require decompression stops since he hasn't breathed any compressed air, but if he did need assistance from one of his support divers at depth, how would it affect his surfacing rates?
posted by autopilot at 2:06 PM on February 7, 2015


Free diving gives me the willies, though the videos are beautiful to watch.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:13 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I believe a free diver who ends up in need of assistance would be known as a dead free diver. There is no margin for error.

Some free divers use weights to descend and an inflatable lift bag to ascend. Audrey Mestre, wife of champion free diver Francisco “Pipin” Ferreras, drowned in 2002 when her lift bag failed. After that Ferreras gave up free diving for over 10 years, although he made a noisy return in 2013.
posted by localroger at 2:16 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I listened through headphones. It would be cool to have one of these where the diver was instrumented to record breathing/ambient sounds at the start, and then the heart beat/rate during the dive.

No. No this would not be cool at all. This would be terrifying, and I'd have had to turn it off immediately or risk a serious panic attack.

No no no no no no.

No no no no.

Do not want.

No. No. NO.

Noooo.

posted by DriftingLotus at 4:30 PM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


That Narcose is beautiful and so very, very French.
posted by STFUDonnie at 4:52 PM on February 7, 2015


And I remembered it wrong, it's around 40 feet

I think it's deeper than that? I've freedived to 40 feet before and definitely did not feel like I was sinking.

Why at a certain depth gravity is enough to pull him downwards? Also, how is he not crushed?

So after a certain amount of pressure, your body actually shifts blood into your torso from your extremities. This helps protects all the important bits from being crushed (mainly your lungs). The spleen will also contract to release extra red blood cells to keep oxygen levels a bit higher for longer.
--

Anyway, free diving really isn't scary at all if you actually do it. You're taught to keep your chin tucked to your chest so you're more streamlined and so you don't freak out since you won't be staring down into the abyss (though I suppose at the depths he's going to it really doesn't matter). My free diving instructor preferred to dive without a mask and with his eyes closed.

My goal for free diving is to be able to hold my breath long enough to go down and be able to rope myself a scuba diver and ride them.
posted by astapasta24 at 7:15 PM on February 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Both films are beautiful and the second one was terrifying to boot. Thanks for posting.
posted by arcticseal at 9:24 PM on February 7, 2015


Trying to find out more about "the doorway to the deep" I stumbled across this article on Buzzfeed( no comments please). Explains some of my love of swimming which I took up at age 70
posted by rmhsinc at 7:41 AM on February 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


rmhsinc, thanks for that link! I was so inspired that I threw on a skirt and flip-flops and walked down to the beach.

I thought I'd just dip my toe in, but it's high tide and the waves were a little choppy so I got pretty soaked right off the bat. I ended up rolling up my skirt and taking a knee-high walk in the water, and I even struck up a conversation with a fisherman who let me hold the 4-foot long shark* he caught!


*Legal and sustainable.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:37 AM on February 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


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