Skinny Dipping for Science

Nude woman jumps into water with belugas.


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Russian diver Natalia Avseenko, 36, threw caution—and her clothes—to the wind when she plunged into sub-zero temperatures to swim with two beluga whales off Russia’s northwest coast. Avseenko free-dived naked to test a theory that artificial materials, including dive equipment and clothes, repluse the notoriously shy beluga whale. The water, near the Arctic Circle, is cold enough to put most humans into hypothermic shock or maybe kill them, but Avseenko used yoga meditation techniques to hold her breath. She remained in the water for ten minutes and forty seconds as she swam with the whales. Some animal activists aren’t happy with her skinny dipping research methods and remain skeptical that she could truly regulate her body temperature using yoga techniques. But the whales, notorious for their facial expressions, at least seemed to smile as they cavorted with their new friend.

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