The first doctor who visited the near-earth orbit, the Soviet pilot-cosmonaut Boris Egorov, once said: “At a depth of more than 500-700 meters a person (at least in theory) has the opportunity to become Ikhtiyandr, without using any technique! He will swim there like a fish, and live as long as possible. You just need to … fill the lungs with water. At a depth of 500-700 meters, human lungs, apparently, will absorb oxygen directly from the water. “
At first glance this thought seems incredible. Do not thousands of people die each year, drowned in seawater? Is water able to replace conventional oxygen? We are transferred mentally to the laboratory of the Dutch physiologist Johannes Kilstra, where the scientist conducts his amazing experiments. Here’s one of them.
The scientist pours a small transparent reservoir of water and adds a little salt. Further, it closes the container and pumps oxygen into it through the tube under pressure. The vessel is shaken and soon a white mouse is inserted through the intermediate (sluice) chamber. It can not rise – it prevents the grid on the surface of the water. But … It takes half an hour, an hour, two. The mouse, as it seems strange, breathes – yes, yes, it breathes water! But there is no panic in the mouse. Light animals act like fish gills, getting oxygen directly from the water. Of course, there can be no talk of any caisson disease – nitrogen was not added to the water. Similar experiments have been done by scientists in the USSR, headed by Candidate of Medical Sciences Vladlen Kozak.
So, the first step is done. And quite successfully. However, scientists are not in a hurry to announce this. Suddenly only small animals have the ability to breathe liquid? To dispel doubts, the method is checked on dogs. And what? In the first experiments, dogs breathed a brackish solution, saturated with oxygen, more than half an hour. Experiments have shown that not only dogs, but cats can also breathe liquid for a long time. Sometimes they stayed under water for hours on end and then quietly returned to the habitual way of breathing.
Is a person able to breathe water? Encouraged by the success of animal experiments, Johannes Kilstra attempted to clarify this issue. The first test was a diver with 20 years of experience Frank Falezhchik. When he was flooded with one lung, he felt so good that he asked at the same time to fill in another. “So far, this is not necessary,” said the scientist. However, after some time, Kilstra decided on such an experiment.
Twenty doctors gathered in the laboratory to witness an amazing experience. The subject agreed to be the same Frank Falezhchik. He was anesthetized with a throat to suppress the swallowing reflex and injected an elastic tube into the trachea (windpipe). Through it, the scientist began to gradually pour in a special solution. The fluid entered both lungs, and everyone watched falizhchik, who showed no signs of panic.
Moreover, he showed signs that he was ready to help the experimenters, and he began to write down his feelings. Man breathed liquid for more than one hour! However, it took a couple of days to finally pump it out of the lungs. “I did not feel any discomfort,” said Frank Thalezchik after the experiment, “and I did not feel the heaviness in my chest, as I originally thought.” Reflecting on the results of these very interesting experiments, Dr. Kilstra expressed the conviction that a person with water-filled lungs can drop completely painlessly for half a kilometer and return to the surface in twenty minutes.
Many years ago, Jacques-Yves Cousteau put forward a curious assumption. “The time will come,” he wrote, “and humanity will bring out a new race of people-Homo Aquaticus” (“man underwater”). They will populate the seabed, build cities there and live like on earth. ” Who knows, maybe the prophesy of the brave captain, the recognized elder of the underwater swimmers, will someday come to pass?
PS: I recommend watching the movie “Liquid Breath”