World Champion free diver (diving without the aid of SCUBA gear). Now apparently living in Japan, Jacques has been searching most of his life for the natural affinities between man, ocean and dolphins. He has spent much of his life underwater, partly because of his immense love of the sea and partly in a scientific quest to determine if humans have hidden aquatic potential, a primal instinct that could be revived through adequate psychological and physiological training.

Testing himself in waters from the Mediterranean to the frigid lakes of the Andes, and helped by a group of scientists, Mayol sought to understand what happens to the human body underwater. In a typical experiment, Mayol descended to 150 feet and held his breath for nearly four minutes with a cardiac catheter inserted in his chest.

When in 1976 he defied warnings and, helped by a sled, went to 328 feet (99 meters, holding his breath for 3 minutes and 39 seconds.), scientists confirmed the existence of "blood shift" in humans. We share this mechanism to prevent crushing - a testimony to our evolutionary aquatic heritage - with dolphins, seals and other diving mammals.

Jacques is also the author of a few books, most notably, Homo Delphinus - The Dolphin Within Man.

Below is his depth progression chart in various free diving competitions around the world:

60m Jacques Mayol 1966 Bahamas 
70m Jacques Mayol 1968 USA
76m Jacques Mayol 1970 Japan 
85m Jacques Mayol 1973 Italy 
86m Jacques Mayol 1973 Italy 
92m Jacques Mayol 1975 Italy 
100m Jacques Mayol 1976 Italy 
101m Jacques Mayol 1981 Italy 
105m Jacques Mayol 1983 Italy 
Jacques Mayol is, of course, also the protagonist in Luc Besson's movie The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu), which is loosely based on his life. The movie stars Jean-Marc Barr as Mayol and Jean Reno as his rival Enzo Molinari.

There are two alternate endings to the movie, one in which Mayol kinda commits suicide deep below the surface of the sea and one (the American version) where he is saved by dolphins.

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