Deep sea hunting is something you have to see to believe – in the video above, an Indonesian hunter swims to a depth of 65 feet, and stays there for just under three minutes. Other dives can send them underwater for up to five minutes. Armed with nothing more than his trunks, a pair of goggles and a spear gun, this hunter scours the seabed for his catch – staying underwater as long as it takes to catch what he needs.
At this depth, Indonesian sea bed hunter Sulbin has an immense amount of pressure above him. Sulbin is a Bajau fisher – a member of an ever decreasing tribe of sea nomads that spend their entire life out at sea. Bajau are born at sea, will live at sea, and will die at sea.
These sea gypsies live in Malaysia and Indonesia. They live on houseboats or in stilt houses off the shores. So much of their time is spent in the water, they often feel landsick when they are on dry land.Because of the pressure from diving, these divers will intentionally rupture their eardrums at an early age – which essentially makes them partially deaf, a high price to pay for ensuring a good catch. The deep dives even change their eye muscles increasing their underwater eyesight.
The catch varies from area to area – some dive for food, others are after pearls or sea cucumbers. To make their job productive, many of these divers will have to make hundreds of dives a year.
The clip is part of the BBC/Discovery produced “Human Planet”. To learn more about the show, and the challenges involved with creating this amazing footage, check out the Human Planet blog.