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Monday, May 28, 2018

Bajau Dive Underwater For 13 Minutes

Bajau Divers Evolved Larger Spleens
To stay Underwater for 13 Minutes.
Larger Spleens Allow Bajau “Sea Nomads” To Dive Longer Underwater.
Badjao, Bajau, Bajo or Sama?
Bajau Laut are called the “Guardians of the Sea”. In more than 1000 years they have fished and traded in a vast maritime zone of Southeast Asia. They use a wide range of fishing techniques and they are known for their diving and spear-fishing skills (Schagatay 2011)

History of Bajau Laut
Historically, all Bajau have been sea nomads. The earliest mention of peoples identifiable as Bajau goes back to the 16th century (Sather 1997). For a long time they were  employed as navigators and divers in the Sulu Sultanate, which was a Tausug kingdom in the south-western part of Philippines for several centuries.  It is also known that they played a key role in the lucrative spice trade in which they transported spices from the “Spice islands” in Moluccas to the Straits of Malacca, from where they were sent to the Middle East in the 16th and 17th century (Blust 2005: 14-15).

However, the The Spanish king of that time, Charles I of Spain, wanted to find the “Spice Islands” so he sent the captain Ferdinand Magellan with a crew of more than 200 men across the Pacific Ocean. Ferdinand Magellan died in the Philippines in year 1521 but his remaining crew found the “Spice Islands” only months later – changing the spice trade completely. Bajau Laut lost their key position in the trade, and colonial powers started to violate the area.
Badjao Spearfishermen
 Spearfishing in Bohol, Philippines

A segment we filmed for Earth Diary about the Badjao fishermen from Bohol, Philippines.
The Badjao tribe are nomadic Sea Gypsies. They can be found in SE Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, with numbers around 100,000. 
Traditionally, the Bajau, even today, live mostly on the sea. 
Badjao divers descend 20 meters (65feet) to sea floor, hearts slows down to 30 beats per minute, squeezes its lung to 1/3 of its initial volume, even without weights he is negatively bouyant enough to strive across the bottom of the sea as if like hunting on land, 2 1/2 minutes of hunting under pressure. He can still manage to stay as long as 5 minutes!

Some People have Evolved Bigger Spleens
To Hunt Underwater
Science Magazine
Published on Apr 19, 2018
Researchers have found that Indonesia’s Bajau people, who for generations have spent the majority of their days diving and hunting underwater, also have genetic adaptations for their unusual lifestyle.
Read more:
Read the paper:

The last centuries more and more Bajau Laut have settled on land, but a majority are still closely connected with the sea, either on still houses or on house boats. Still today there are at least 1 000 houseboats remaining, located in isolated areas of Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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