Earlier this week, 35-year-old German freediver Tom Sietas reportedly broke the world record for breathholding when he stayed underwater for 22 minutes and 22 seconds. That's just a bit longer—and probably a bit more exciting to watch—than the average television sitcom without commercials. Sietas has a lung capacity 20 percent larger than the average person his size and is a trained freediver. He doesn't eat for five hours before "going for it." The feat was impressive, but what may be more impressive, and definitely more entertaining to watch, is the dive above by William Trubridge.
Trubridge dove to a depth of 120 meters, or 393 feet, in a discipline known as constant weight with monofin. (He can push himself down and up with a flipper.) The power of the clip comes from the little nuggets of text Trubridge adds. At 100 feet he becomes negatively bouyant and sinks. At 328 feet he is in complete darkness, but the rope measuring his descent glows in the dark. It takes two minutes to fall 393 feet in water. You get the idea.
The world record is 124 meters, which Trubridge tried to break a few days after this video was shot by going to 125 meters (410 feet). I won't spoil it. Watch to the end of the video to find out what happened with his 120 meter and 125 meter attempts.
To learn more about Trubridge and freediving, read James Nestor's story, "Open Your Mouth and You're Dead."