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Walking on the Ocean Floor: The Art of Bajau Deep Sea Fishing

Sailing on their small wooden boats, the Bajau people roam the waters off southeast Asia. Commonly know as “sea gypsies,” the Bajau spend the majority of their lives out at sea and reside in their boats or stilt houses built over coral reefs. Their familiarity with the ocean make the Bajau some of the best divers and fishermen in the world, and they have a legendary reputation of deep sea spearfishing.

At a young age, many Bajau youths intentionally rupture their eardrums to better their underwater skills. The free-divers of the Bajau on average spend more than five hours underwater everyday, developing techniques that would feed their families. The majority of them use no breathing apparatus. Bajau divers can reach depths of over 20 meters on a single breath and hunt for fish with either spear or speargun, while the pressure squeezes the air out of their lungs.

You can watch a Bajau fisherman walk the ocean floor in the video below:

Image screenshot of video by BBC on YouTube

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  • Liam Williams

    Wow! Just incredible.