Meet a Sinkhole Master…

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Guillaume Néry is a French freediver specialising in constant weight freediving. Combining his love of free diving and base jumping, Nery began breaking world records for freediving beginning in 2002.  In 2010, Nery took an incredible leap of faith off Dean’s Blue Hole in to the dark unforeseeable abyss below. During this dive, he reportedly held his breath for over 4 minutes. (The average person can hold their breath for only about 45 seconds!) At 663 ft, Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas is known as the deepest sinkhole in the world. Watch this epic short film showcasing his amazing ability to keep calm, as he dives down into the pitch black void with no equipment or air supply. This video is simply mind blowing!

After this video became viral, and some noticed inconsistencies with his dive, suspicions began to grow. Nery later confirmed that the video was simply an artistic project that he shot with his co-diver girlfriend over 4 afternoons.  One website – detailed 10 reasons as to why they knew the video was a sham..

10. We never see him equalize once. I’m sure he did, even if he only went 100’ (I’d still be impressed). Equalizing is when you pinch your nose and blow out, popping your eardrums. This counteracts the enormous pressure of diving at depth. If he didn’t do this, his mask would suck his eyes out and his eardrums would implode…

9. He did not pack air. At the beginning of the video, he just traipsed into the water. No big last gulp of air. Having watched other divers attempt these depths, at the surface they do breathing exercises to expel all the carbon dioxide from their lungs. Also, this technique increases lung capacity. Every little bit of air counts.

8. No sled? If you’re going beyond say 300′ without one of these, good luck getting to the bottom and back up before you run out of breath. Sleds are used to expedite your journey to the deep. A weight or motor is used to drag you down as fast as possible without you personally exerting much energy and thereby using up what little air you have.
7. No lift bag. When down, say 663′, you want to get the hell out of dodge as fast as possible (i.e. get a taste of that sweet surface air). A lift bag is something you use compressed air to inflate. Once inflated, that bag is going one way. Up.
6. Speaking of physical exertion, he runs to the edge, chills, then jumps off and free falls to the bottom. Once there, he chills some more, shoots himself to the wall, and proceeds to climb it all the way to the surface. Personally, if I were doing this on dry land I’d be short of breath. Granted, this guy does seem super-human. He’d have to be.

5. At 663′ there would be next to zero natural light. Also, visible colors would be greatly distorted at depths way short of that. You lose red at 10′, orange and yellow at 30′, and green leaves at about 60′. I can see that French flag on his arm pretty clearly the whole way down.

4. Not necessarily a reason that it’s fake, but at 2:25-2:30 into the video you can see a few sharks. As it turns out this cheese-eating surrender-monkey isn’t a total puss. Not that diving in a blue hole isn’t scary in the first place. 

3. I’m not sure if they used it, but in 1:26-1:30, you can clearly see a wire descending from a possible boat to the bottom of the hole.

2. The video’s credits claim that another free diver did all of the filming. That means two people base-jumped into Dean’s Hole. If one person did all of the filming on one attempt and that person was a free diver, then they both did it in one breath. I can believe holding your breath for four minutes is possible with practice. However, I don’t believe it’s possible to hold your breath for that long and swim like Nery — and his camerman — did. And by the way, his cameraman actually beat him to the bottom: shouldn’t he be getting some of the glory, too?

1. If there was one free diving cameraman who was shooting without air tanks, how did they get 34 some-odd camera angles including the one where the cameraman met Guillaume on the bottom?  

Sham or not, Nery’s record as an insanely gifted freediver lives on.