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Hold your breath

Try holding your breath. After a minute you will have used up most of the oxygen stored in your body and carbon dioxide will build up, triggering senses in your diaphragm to start breathing. You will experience an overwhelming urge to gulp some air, something which you will not be able to resist.

On average, people can hold their breath for one minute, maybe two. The world record, however, is 11 minutes 35 seconds, set on June 8, 2009 by Stéphane Mifsud. In that time, even if you held your breath for a minute, you would have had to breathe 170 times because you breath 23,000 times a day!

Stéphane Mifsud‘s amazing feat is the Static apnea record as established by the International Association for the Development of Free Diving. Inhalation of pure oxygen before the diving attempt is not allowed, which the Guinness World Record association does allow. They report the record for holding breath at 20 minutes 10 seconds, set on April 1, 2010 by Stig Severinsen. Also an amazing feat.

Free diving

Scientists used to believe that lungs would collapse at  164 ft (50m). At depths of  328 ft (100m), the underwater pressure could shrink lungs to the size of an egg, it was thought. After all, water is 800 times thicker than air and weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon (1kg per liter). Even today, advanced scuba divers have a limit of  130 ft (40m). But in 1961 Sicilian Enzo Maiorca descended to 177 ft (54m) without breathing equipment.

The first person to free-dive (with assistance but no breathing equipment) to 100m (328 ft) was Jacques Mayol, in 1976. On December 13, 2010, New Zealander William Trubridge became the first person to reach a depth of 100m without any assistance of any kind, even without fins.

Legendary free-diver Italian Umberto Pellizzari, who can hold his breath for more than 6 minutes, was the first to free-dive to 150m (492 ft), in October 1999. In 2007, current record holder  Herbert Nitsch reached an astounding 214m (702 ft). Now, that should take your breath away!

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Discovery explains how is it possible to hold a breath for long

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