The Secrets of Extreme Breath Holding

The Secrets of Extreme Breath Holding

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Hi, this is David from MinuteEarth. When I try to hold my breath for as long as
possible, I can only last for about a minute before I need to gasp for air. That’s because humans need oxygen to survive,
so our bodies have several systems designed to make sure we get new supplies at regular
intervals. But the best breath holders in the world have
figured out how to hack three of these survival systems, and as a result, they can hold their
breath for an astonishing amount of time. The first survival system that gets hacked
is our fight or flight response. Our brain understandably feels threatened
when we start to use up our oxygen. But this panic over running out of air causes
our heart to beat faster, which ironically causes us to expend more oxygen than we would
have if we hadn’t panicked in the first place. However, the best breath holders can avoid
this vicious cycle; through intensive training, they’re able to remain calm and keep their
heartbeat steady even as oxygen runs low, allowing them to double their breath-holding
time. The second survival system they hack is the
mammalian dive reflex. It turns out that all mammals – and thus all
humans – have developed an anti-drowning mechanism for when they unexpectedly find themselves
underwater. When we get dunked, a branch of one of our
cranial nerves senses the temperature and pressure change and alerts our brain to begin
rationing oxygen. Our brain tells our heart to slow waaaay down,
which slows down the rate at which we use oxygen. Then the blood vessels on our skin and in
our limbs constrict, directing more of the blood flow – which contains oxygen – towards
our brain and other vital organs. Finally, our spleen – which serves as a blood
reservoir – contracts, sending out a bunch of backup oxygen-rich red blood cells into
our bloodstream. Since this only happens when your face is
underwater, the best breath holders take advantage of this adaptation by…well…putting their
heads in the water, which allows them to hold their breath up to 50% longer than they can
on dry land. The third survival system they hack is the
diaphragm spasm. When your oxygen level falls below a certain
point, it causes your diaphragm to start spasming, which painfully jerks on your lungs, basically
yelling at them to get more oxygen as soon as possible. But elite breath holders have figured out
that at that point there’s still some oxygen left. So they repeatedly ignore those spasms, which
allows them to hold their breath for several more minutes. In fact, some of them have trained themselves
to let their oxygen levels fall to just before it causes them to blackout – before they finally
gasp for air. The world’s best breath holder can withstand
more than 75 of these distress spasms, which, helps him hold his breath for more than 11
minutes; that’s long enough to watch this video 4 times in a row. You probably shouldn’t try to hack your
body, and you definitely shouldn’t let someone else hack your identity. That’s why I use Dashlane to keep me safe
online. In addition to randomly generating a unique
strong password whenever I sign up for a new account, it also lets me know if there’s
been a data breach at any of my regular haunts. Dashlane also has a secure multi-country VPN
for all my devices and security alerts if it finds my data on the dark web. To download your own free 30-day trial of
Dashlane Premium, go to Dashlane.com/MinuteEarth. The first 200 viewers can also get 10% off
a yearly Dashlane Premium membership using the code MINUTEEARTH at checkout.

100 thoughts on “The Secrets of Extreme Breath Holding”

  1. no discussion about the pH decrease of the blood? it is very obvious you have not done any research into this video

  2. Ho come there is no mention of David Blaine, who held his breath for 17 minutes? Seriously, none of you watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX_Ev94t2nc ?

  3. I love that "dangerous" warning, because with someone exploring the X side of life for as long as this, well, it's easy to say there are those out there who would use words like "kinky" or "exciting".

  4. The secret is practice. Growing up by the ocean helps too. The longest is 11 minutes? That's amazing.
    I can only hold my breath for 3-4 minutes. I need more practice.

  5. I would like to understand. But I'm from Brazil. Portuguese Language Of Brazil. But thanks to @Minuto Da Terra I understand everything

  6. Remembering. The Brazilian students study the English language. But I'm not so good kkkkkkkkkk (Laughter from Brazil)

  7. 😮

    Anybody else notice at 2:34 on the video screen, it shows a video within a video within a video within a video…

  8. im an seven year old breath holder that hacked two instead of three and was mammanlian dive and diaphragm spasm being hacked

  9. I looked at my stopwatch and tested how long i could hold my breath i tried to hold my breath for 30 miniutes but it was 23 seconds😂😂😂😂

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