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Are You Thinking About Breathing While You Read This? (Now You Are)

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Channel: Seeker
Categories: Anatomy   |   Biology   |   Science  
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What really drives us to breathe? And how dangerous is it to hyperventilate and hold your breath?

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5 Longest Free Dives of All Time
"As far as extreme sports go, free diving is among the most challenging. Divers push the limits of human evolution by descending hundreds of meters below the surface, fighting massive levels of water pressure and minutes without oxygen. Patrick Musimu, a leading figure and eventual victim of freediving, rejected the term "extreme sport," calling it an adventure."

Why is Hyperventilation Bad for Freediving?
" For a start, hyperventilation has almost no effect on the arterial partial pressure of oxygen. It's true that there is a small gain to be had in this department (something like 1-2 KPa) but since the haemoglobin (where most of the oxygen is stored) is already 100% saturated with normal breathing, the actual volume of extra oxygen you get by doing this is really really small. It's a big myth, therefore, that "hyperventilation oxygenates the blood more" or other similarly offensive nonsense. Please don't spread it around any further!"

Big Question: Why Does Tap Water Go Stale Overnight?
"You go to sleep with a cool, fresh glass of tap water by your bed and wake up to it tasting Ever so slightly more dirt-like, I'd say. Musty, heavy, or oily, others have said. The taste difference is subtle and hard to describe, in a way that leads people who haven't noticed to claim it doesn't exist. So naturally, I called up a scientist to sort things out."


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This episode of Seeker was hosted by Trace Dominguez.

Written By: Sapna Parikh

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