Division of labor is limited by the extent of the market

His specialty is static apnea: holding your breath while remaining immobile in a swimming pool. It requires some of same skills as being buried alive for a week, Mr. Blaine said: “It’s all in your mind. You’ve got to stay calm and slow everything down.”

The guy can hold his breath for sixteen minutes; here is the article, interesting throughout.  He is also versatile:

As a self-described endurance artist, he’d spent 35 hours atop a 105-foot pole and survived a week buried in a coffin. He’d fasted for 44 days in a box suspended over the Thames, a nutritional experiment that was written up in The New England Journal of Medicine (with Mr. Blaine listed as a co-author).

Nor had I known this:

Immersing the face in water produces a protective action in humans similar to that in dolphins, seals, otters and whales. Called the mammalian diving reflex, it quickly lowers the heart rate and then constricts blood vessels in the limbs so that blood is reserved for the heart and the brain.


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