Women have internal sex organs, men have external sex organs. Men produce their sperm in the testicles. Sperm is sensitive to temperature and will die if it gets too warm or too cold. So a man swimming in cold water will kill the sperm in his testicles. Normally, this is not a problem because men are producing new sperm all the time, but, if the man is a professional breath-holding diver and is immersed in cold water every day, then he will be continuously killing his sperm and will be unlikely to father children. Another problem for men, is that if they spend too long in very cold water they can suffer frostbite on their penis, which is something no man would want to experience.
Dr Bookspan working as a Ama diver
Dr Bookspan spent time working as an Ama diver to study the effects of swimming in cold water on her own body and the bodies of Ama divers. The divers she studied were all wearing cotton costumes. She made the point that these costumes were very uncomfortable when wet and would make the Ama divers feel much colder when out of the water than if they wore nothing. A naked body will soon dry through its own body heat, but wet clothing will keep the body wet, take far longer to dry and will feel very cold in the slightest wind.
In the past the Ama divers wore nothing, however after the Second World War, with the increase in tourism, too many outsiders began to comment on their nakedness, Ama divers were forced to do a cover-up and adopted cotton costumes. Dr Boodspan says, -
“Diving clothes varied by geographic area, with some divers wearing only a rope belt or loincloth. No fins were used to help swimming. Later when wet suits were developed, only male divers wore them. Women were prohibited protective suits by their cooperatives, since they were considered more cold tolerant to begin with, and the advantage of the suit would "accelerate over-harvesting" Later, the work became pretty much exclusive to women.”
She also explains that wet-suits are not as large a benefit for women as they are for men, in cold water. This is because men have a higher skin temperature than women and therefore more heat is radiated away from a man’s body in cold water, than from a woman’s. So the insulating qualities of a wetsuit are less use to women.
So if this is the reason why few men are breath holding divers in
So how was she able to accomplish these feats when a normal person would quickly freeze to death? It seems that open water swimmer not only train themselves to swim for long distances but also train their bodies to withstand very cold water. This is commonplace with swimmers who have swam the
In 1976 Lynne Cox became, officially, the first person to swim across the
Bounty hunters killing the Yamana and Ona people.
Drawing of Tasmanian Breath divers
There have been reports of breath-holding divers all over the world. In South East Asia reports come from places like
Giant Statue of Mermaid on Kollam Beach, India
There were breath-holding divers in both North and
Large Shell mound before it was bulldozed in the 1920s
So this is the reason why we mostly have stories of mermaid and not mermen, because women can endure cold water much better than men. In our next video we will explain why in so many stories of mermaids in