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Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves

by James Nestor

Deep is a voyage from the ocean’s surface to its darkest trenches, the most mysterious places on Earth. Fascinated by the sport of freediving—in which competitors descend great depths on a single breath—James Nestor embeds with a gang of oceangoing extreme athletes and renegade researchers. He finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away, sharks that swim in unerringly straight lines through pitch-black waters, and other strange phenomena. Most illuminating of all, he learns that these abilities are reflected in our own remarkable, and often hidden, potential—including echolocation, directional sense, and the profound bodily changes humans undergo when underwater. Along the way, Nestor unlocks his own freediving skills as he communes with the pioneers who are expanding our definition of what is possible in the natural world, and in ourselves.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: Science

Reading time: 67 hours


Sanjayan Muttulingam
Conservation Scientist

I’ve given away quite a few copies of James Nestor’s book, The Deep. That book is pretty damn good. It’s about free diving, which I knew nothing about. That was one of my birthday things. That was like two years ago. So, I thought I’ll try this free diving thing because I read Nestor’s book. And it’s amazing, the physiology of the human body and what it can do is amazing. So, I read this book. It’s about free diving, a very scary, it can be a very dangerous sport, but also an amazing sport because it completely changes the way you think about your body and what you’re capable of. And I thought this book inspired me. I’m going to go try and take a lesson in free diving.