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A reason to Freedive - Learn how to interact with whales

How to interact with the biggest predators in this planet - Sperm whales


A sperm whale is likely smarter than you...!


Since its brain is about six times larger than your's. And, they have neocortex six times bigger than your's, where in humans the neocortex governs higher levels of functions like conscious thought, future planning and language.



Sperm whales also have spindle cells that are highly developed brain structures that are associated with compassion, love, suffering and speech. 


This means that sperm whales have all of those things that makes humans humane, and have been around about more than 15 million years longer than humans. 


The only way to interact and study sperm whales is by freediving with them since they get disturbed by the noise of scuba- and other technical gear.


It’s only by freediving with them that interaction can occur, where they usually end up inviting you to the pod after a first sonar scan.


Sperm whales sends out sonar pulses to scan their surroundings, including you when you’re close.



This calf is sending out sonars to scan the freediver’s body and interior - the kidneys, lungs, rib cage to get a full 3D picture of what she is.


This echolocation sounds like a clicking sound, almost like morse code.


Sperm whales can click at about 236 decibels, which is the loudest animal on the planet.


These clicks are so powerful that they can easily blow out your ear drum and even vibrate a human body to death.


When sperm whales flip on their belly it’s because they’re collecting the echoes from the sonar that they’re sending out, just underneath its jaw. 


The clicking is not only used for echolocation but also for communication, likely one of the most sophisticated form of communication on this planet - even more sophisticated than human language.



Freediving with sperm whales does not mean that you have to be able to dive super deep or have an amazing breath hold - it's more about your CO2 capacity (carbon dioxide capacity)


Since when you dive with wild animals you're out at sea and swimming, you don't have time to or won't ever get that perfect breath-up that you get in a pool or on a buoy.


You will already be tired from swimming or diving after them, since they're faster than you, where you have to be able to dive and equalise with a lot of tiredness/carbon dioxide in your body.


The best way to train for this could be something like this in the pool or in the ocean:

sprint 25-50 m with snorkel at the surface and dive down 5-10 m (vertically) for 10-25 m (horizontally), rest 2 minutes and repeat 10 times. A scaling of this would be to take the 2 minutes of rest as active rest and continue swimming with the snorkel in a lower pace.



The last tip: leave your camera on the boat the first dives/encounters and BE WITH the animals. Look at them and not in your camera for selfies, if you see them they will see you too - and believe me that there's nothing more profoundly humbling than having the world's largest predator looking at you and showing an interest to interact and play for a while.



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