If you hold your breath and submerge your face in a bucket full of water, your body will automatically activate a process called the diving response.
The heart rate will slow down, the blood vessels will constrict and the size of the spleen will decrease.
All of these are aimed at conserving body energy in the absence of oxygen.
Most people can hold their breath underwater for a few seconds, some people can even spend a few minutes under water, but did you know that there is one tribe in the world that no one can resist but the people who belong to it? No less than a superhero.
The Bajau tribe, also known as sea nomads, live in the ocean and can easily stay underwater for an average of 13 minutes at a depth of 200 feet.
Living in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, these people dive into the water to hunt fish or search for natural resources.
But how was it possible that a human could stay underwater for so long? So it was answered in a study a few years ago.
In fact, scientists discovered that these are the first humans whose genes have adapted to diving, and a DNA mutation has enlarged their spleens, giving them a genetic advantage for deep diving.
What is the importance of the spleen?
Like all organs in the body, it is possible to live without the spleen, but its presence in the body helps support the immune system as well as recycling red blood cells.
Various research reports have shown that marine mammals that spend most of their lives underwater have significantly larger spleens.
What did the research discover?
Keeping this idea in mind, experts from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark decided to investigate the Bajau community.
It is believed that the community spends 60% of their time underwater during the fishing season and are natural divers.
It is believed that this lifestyle of the Bajau tribe has remained unchanged for over a thousand years, giving future generations enough time to genetically adopt the ability to dive. Found.
Due to this way of life for centuries, these people have become experts in holding their breath underwater for a long time.
In a study comparing samples from people from the Bajau community in Indonesia with people from another Saluan group, it was discovered that a Bajau person’s spleen was 50 percent larger.
According to researchers, normal people practice for years to hold their breath for long periods of time, but Bajau tribesmen are born with this ability.
During the research, the PDE10A gene was found to be different in Bajau people than others.
This gene is present in the thyroid gland and controls the secretion of hormones.
Research has found that this gene increases the secretion of hormones that increase the size of the spleen.
The researchers believe that the findings will help in the future to develop methods that will facilitate the treatment of patients suffering from the problem of rapid oxygen depletion.
What are the opinions of other experts?
According to Duke University School of Medicine expert Richard Moon, the role of the spleen is important, but other elements are also important.
Richard Moon has done extensive research on the human body’s response to extreme altitude and depth.
According to him, when a person dives under water, the pressure increases in the blood vessels of the lungs, and in severe cases, the arteries burst, leading to death.
He hypothesized that Bajau tribesmen are genetically immune to this effect.