swimming for peace and friendship
January 20, 2007 2:42 PM   Subscribe

Martin Strel is at it again. Back in '02 he swam the Mississippi River, then went on in '04 to make a world record swim of 930 miles in the Yangtze river. Now he plans to swim the 3,375 mile Amazon "for peace and friendship", starting February 1st.
posted by lisalisa123 (28 comments total)
Watch out for the candiru fish.
posted by Flunkie at 2:55 PM on January 20, 2007

Umm... I've lived on the Amazon. This is not a good idea. There are about 1000 different ways to die.

I once swam across a tributary of the Amazon, the Rio Napo. When I made it back to the other side, the natives chastised me rather severely. I took it to heart and never got in above my waist again.
posted by vronsky at 3:03 PM on January 20, 2007

This is begging to become a Werner Herzog film. I'm pretty sure that this Slovenian guy is pushing his luck, and just as obsessive as Timothy Treadwell. (Though quite a bit less than Kinsky.)

I'd pay good money to hear Herzog's inimitable voiceover "Strell was bitten many times by viscious pirhana fish, but luckily none of the bites yielded significant wounds".
posted by isopraxis at 3:04 PM on January 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

Cool post though. You were great with the Cult Jam.
posted by vronsky at 3:08 PM on January 20, 2007

Aren't there piranhas in in the Amazon?
posted by jeyoung at 3:09 PM on January 20, 2007

Piranhas, crocodiles, snakes, that nasty fish that swims up your dick...

You go first, Indy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:19 PM on January 20, 2007

oh vronsky, you didn't
posted by lisalisa123 at 3:36 PM on January 20, 2007

Yeah, I was gonna make a piranha joke, except that they're usually only in the stagnant swampy areas, not in the river, as I recall.
posted by rolypolyman at 3:50 PM on January 20, 2007

Actually on second thought, maybe he's gonna be a guinea pig for finding some new dangerous fish. If you think the peehole fish is bad, maybe we'll be hearing more.
posted by rolypolyman at 3:52 PM on January 20, 2007

"oh vronsky, you didn't" - oh yes I did, but I was lost in emotion.

Hit the beat now.
posted by vronsky at 3:59 PM on January 20, 2007

I swam in the Amazon. The most dangerous thing I saw close up was a huge log of poo floating by. Supposedly the pink dolphins can attack.
posted by sarelicar at 4:24 PM on January 20, 2007

Metafilter: Supposedly the pink dolphins can attack.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:35 PM on January 20, 2007

Actually, there is a Metafilter user who lost half his ass to a cayman in the Amazon, I kid you not. I've seen the scar. For that reason among others, I think I'll stick with the Alcatraz to Crissy Field swim myself.
posted by luriete at 5:45 PM on January 20, 2007

More info here:

The fun paragraph (minus the pink dolphins) is:
"My escort boats will carry all the time buckets of fresh blood to pour in the water in case the piranhas or other fish attack me," Strel said with a thick Slovenian accent.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:47 PM on January 20, 2007

Cartman on South Park, I think, summed it up best: The jungle sucks.

Pesky biodiversity.
posted by Malor at 5:53 PM on January 20, 2007

Yeah, everyone is talking about the piranhas, caimans and snakes, but I'm going to laugh when this guy is done in by a boto (yeah, the pink dolphin), sure they look all nice and friendly, but that's just a cover. They are waiting. Plotting. I mean, this is an animal that has successfully survived in these dangerous waters for how long?

And now this guy is going to risk their wrath by antagonizing them in their own house? He's going to be the doom of us all. When they rise up and take over our streets, don't forget that I was here, warning you from the very beginning.
posted by quin at 5:56 PM on January 20, 2007

Hit the beat now.
posted by vronsky

Is that the Vronski Beat?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:21 PM on January 20, 2007

I once spent 9 days at Manu. After a day of hiking it's an easy choice to swim in the river and risk the piranhas rather than remain covered with sweat. The fish don't eat much, unless you run into the genetically engineered ones.
posted by lukemeister at 7:22 PM on January 20, 2007

Uh, I swam with the pink dolphins in the amazon.

In Novo Airão, there was a girl who
went fishing one day. A pink dolphin took her fish. The next day she returned and gave the dolphin more fish. Now, several years later, she calls them by name and they appear. Her father, weary of the folklore about dolphins and fertility in the amazon, swears if she turns up pregnant one day he will kill the dolphins.

As for swimming the amazon river, what really bothers me is the whole "doing it for peace" part while spending a million dollars to make this happen. I am certain these funds could be better applied for peace.

Reeks of self-promo, and Mike Horn has gone
down the amazon UNSUPPORTED, (but did not swim, he used a hydrospeed). I think this
is a lot tougher.
posted by ig at 7:45 PM on January 20, 2007

posted by popechunk at 7:48 PM on January 20, 2007

This is fascinating - swimming 10-11 hours a day - while trying to avoid toothpick fish and piranas and God knows what else - and it's live on the internet too! Surreality TV.
posted by FieldingGoodney at 11:18 PM on January 20, 2007

Good luck to the crazy man.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:40 AM on January 21, 2007

Good luck to the pirhanas.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:43 AM on January 21, 2007

So, do we get to start placing bets on how far he gets before he becomes a meal for crocodile/piranha/cayman/any other of the numerous Amazon River dwellers that wanna eat anything that moves?

I call 20 miles, BTW.
posted by azpenguin at 9:15 AM on January 21, 2007

I think if anyone can make it, he can. However, swimming against the pororoca is simply impossible and that part of the story is very misleading.
posted by ig at 9:33 AM on January 21, 2007

you're a sick sick individual vronsky. and that's why you make me laugh.
posted by lisalisa123 at 12:51 PM on January 21, 2007

If he was truly gutsy, he'd swim the Ganges.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 2:29 PM on January 21, 2007

(Late to the party) If he was truly gutsy, he'd swim the Styx. Badum-cha.
posted by ZakDaddy at 9:08 PM on January 21, 2007

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