Sea Nomads with a Deep Sea Diving Genetic Adaptation

While there's plenty to explore on land, a specific tribe in Southeast Asia prefers a nomadic gypsy lifestyle against the modern realms of the world. And these people live in water most of their life, owing to their heartfelt gratitude towards their tribal beliefs. But they have something different from the rest of the human world onshore.

A Unique Tribe in Southeast Asia

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

The Bajau men and women put the most professional divers to shame with their ability to dive deep into the water and stay there for long hours. But these superhuman swimmers have a weird blessing that differentiates them from normal human beings.

Water-Dwelling Becomes Their Mainstream for Centuries

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

According to one of the tribal beliefs, the Bajau sea nomads were sent to rescue a princess. But when they couldn't save her, they stayed underwater to escape the wrath of their king. And until today, the tribe has preserved their tradition with deep-sea diving and water-dwelling. But a closer look at their physical attributes revealed something strange and shocking.

Nomads Who're Distinct from the Rest

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

Though different people have different beliefs regarding the Bajau tribe, their fate is routed towards a nomadic sea-dwelling life. And surprisingly, nothing has changed within their group so far. Most of the members of the Bajau tribe do not own a home on the shore.

They Follow a Different Lifestyle

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jacob Maentz

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jacob Maentz

Instead of traditional homes, their abodes are typically constructed on raised wooden stilts rising above the water's surface. When this research group reached their nomadic region, they were stunned at what they discovered. None of them imagined that their discovery could help them understand the human body's modifications once again.

Seafood is Their Main Source of Nutrition

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

Unlike the ordinary shore dwellers, the Bajau people aren't welcoming towards technology and contemporary lifestyle. They are entirely tribal, and each of them respects what they have laid out from a tradition rejoiced for thousands of years. And unlike modern people, the tribal folk depend on marine lineage for their food.

All of Them have Excellent Deep Diving Abilities 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jacob Maentz

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jacob Maentz

Most of them use their deep-diving ability to catch fish, and fishing is their ultimate source of food. And they don't fish from boats! The shocking fact is—they spend about five hours underwater to catch the best fish for their tribe. Is it even possible to stay underwater for so long?

They Pay a Price for Their Skills

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

In reality, most people can hold their breath underwater for a few seconds. Some can manage up to a few minutes. But five hours isn't quite possible for any reasonable human being. But the Bajau tribe is quite an extraordinary bunch of folk who can journey up to 200 feet underwater and stay there without a break. Their ability to master the long-followed tradition comes with an unnatural price each of them pays unknowingly.

Nomadic Tribe has an Uncanny Power

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jacob Maentz

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jacob Maentz

No oxygen masks, no emergency equipment, and no diving suits! The Bajau tribe has dwelled in water for hundreds of years, putting a big question behind their unnatural abilities. In simple words, these nomadic people can navigate the sea like they have fish gills!

They Attract the Attention of Researchers

Image Credits: Instagram/bendy.bean

Image Credits: Instagram/bendy.bean

Perhaps, this isolated group of people did have something bizarre and against the laws of nature. It wasn't late until a geneticist brought about a shocking revelation. Melissa Llardo, a renowned geneticist from the Center for Geogenetics at the University of Copenhagen, wanted a more in-depth analysis of the Bajau tribe.

A Natural Genetic Mutation 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jacob Maentz

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jacob Maentz

And not just the tribe, her main focus was to discover how they managed to dwell underwater without any emergency equipment. During a trip to Thailand, Melissa decided to track the reason behind the tribe's legendary ability. If you still believe that your lungs control your ability to stay underwater, then you're wrong!

Bajau Tribe is Indeed Unique

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

The art of holding the breath underwater while struggling to live without oxygen is mastered by another organ —the spleen. A study conducted on various aquatic animals revealed that the spleen stored oxygen for emergencies where there was none available. Perhaps, the Bajau tribe was blessed with this unique physical aspect.

Their Spleens are Tested

Image Credits: YouTube/Science Magazine

Image Credits: YouTube/Science Magazine

If something was going against the genetic level, it had to be visible within the body. And Llardo was confident about something that theorized the reason behind the Bajau tribe's weird power. She eventually took her team and practically tested each member of the nomadic tribe and compared their ability with another group called the Saluan. She was focused on testing the images of their spleens.

A Shocking Discovery Unfolds 

Image Credits: Getty Images/poba/For Illustrative Purposes

Image Credits: Getty Images/poba/For Illustrative Purposes

None of her portable ultrasound machine and spit collection kits would defy what she believed in! When the samples were compared back in Copenhagen, her team was stunned when they saw the results. Not just one or two, the entire Bajau tribe had people whose spleen was 50 percent bigger than the ordinary Saluan people.

Bajau Tribe's Genetic Advantage

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

Image Credits: Getty Images/Timothy Allen

The team was awestruck at what stood before their eyes. The Bajau tribe is believed to have settled in their local habitation for over a thousand years. And Llardo believed that their genetic advantage was an accomplishment over their ability to sustain the nearness of water for centuries.

The Only Humans with a Strange Physical Mutation 

Image Credits: YouTube/Beyond Science

Image Credits: YouTube/Beyond Science

While the spleen played a pivotal role in their deep water diving capabilities, other adaptations are believed to have made way for their uncanny underwater diving skills. But the weird physical modification each of the tribe members possesses has turned out to be a natural blessing that makes the thousand-year-old nomadic tribe unique from the mainland beings.

Perhaps, the Bajau tribe is blessed with underwater diving and excellent water-dwelling skills! With a spleen that's 50% more than the average size, this Asian tribe has come a long way defying nature's laws. Nevertheless, their choice of tribal lifestyle against modern technology has somehow helped them retain their legacy without a break.

Sources: National Geographic, Science Alert, The Atlantic, YouTube, Daily Mail UK

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