German 'free diver' sets World Records for Longest time holding breath underwater

German 'free diver' sets World Records for Longest time holding breath underwater

A German 'free diver' has apparently entered the Guinness World Records by holding his breath under water for more than 20 minutes.

Tom Sietas, 35, competed with former record holder, Brazilian Ricardo Bahia, to set the new record by not inhaling for 22:22 minutes.

The extraordinary feat is thought to have been completed in China in a pair of tanks next to one another over the weekend. Bahia's previous record was 20:21 minutes.

To help competitors with the task when they were first plunged into the water it was 5°C but as the challenge continued that rose to just shy of 40°C.

Sietas has broken his own records on multiple occasions for the event, officially known as static apnea, since he first started doing it in 2000.

But he has also earned several records for 'dynamic apnea' - swimming as far as possible under water without breathing.

Sietas has said in the past that he does not eat for five hours before carrying out the stunts to slow his metabolism.

He then fills his lungs with as much pure oxygen as he can, but even without that he once held the record for static apnea without pure oxygen first, holding his breath for 10:12mins. The current record was set by St├ęphane Mifsud in 2009 with a time of 11:35mins.

Sietas has a lung capacity that is 20 per cent larger than average for a person of his size and his 'talent' was first noticed when his scuba-diver instructor noticed his ability to hold his breath.

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