World Champion free diver
without the aid of SCUBA
gear). Now apparently living in Japan
, Jacques has been searching most of his life for the natural affinities
. 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