Underwater Record Gets Examined On ‘Outrageous Acts Of Science’

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See Huffington Post

In November 2002, Tim Yarrow set a world record for most time spent underwater. He was underwater for 240 hours, beating out the previous record, 212 hours and 30 minutes, set in 1986 by Michael Stephens of Britain.

Yarrow, was 30 when he dropped into the water for a week and a half. To stay under for so long, he faced many challenges including nothing less than breathing, eating and excreting. He dealt with the food issue by eating a low-fiber diet through a tube, attached a catheter so he could eliminate waste from his body and used scuba gear to maintain oxygen.

The most amazing change to his body was how the water turned Yarrow’s hands into what looked like wrinkled sausages, an effect that happens because of the excessive skin tissue on hands and feet, according to biologist Carin Bondar.

A quick dip in the tub isn’t a problem, but ecologist Ellie Harrison said 10 days in the drink could be potentially dangerous.

“I should think in the long term, if he stayed under water for an extraordinarily long time, the skin would break down,” she said in the show. “It would probably blister and that would leave him really open to infection, particularly in that water, he could get really quite ill.”

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