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Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves Paperback – May 5, 2015
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*Starred Review* The ocean, journalist Nestor reminds us, is “the final unseen, untouched, and undiscovered wilderness.” It is also a frontier extremely difficult to explore. The pressure is so intense, at 30 feet down our “lungs collapse to half their normal size.” Yet Nestor watches divers descend to 300 feet without scuba gear at a freediving competition. Alarmed (the consequences can be dire) and intrigued, Nestor sets out to learn about the allure and best purpose of freediving as “a tool to help crack the ocean’s mysteries,” thus launching an exceptionally dramatic and revelatory inquiry. As he begins training as a freediver, in spite of his fears, Nestor learns about our body’s remarkable “amphibious reflexes,” instantaneous physical transformations used for centuries by pearl divers. Now innovative and daring marine explorers use freediving to swim among sharks, dolphins, and whales. Their mind-blowing discoveries about how these denizens of the deep navigate and communicate in the watery dark are matched by findings that prove that we, too, can practice echolocation and orient ourselves via our innate magnetic sense of direction, natural abilities our ancestors used long before maps and GPS. With a “wow” on every page, and brimming with vivid portraits, lucid scientific explanations, gripping (and funny) first-person accounts, and urgent facts about the ocean’s endangerment, Nestor’s Deep is galvanizing, enlightening, and invaluable. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Scientific American Recommended Read
iTunes Top 20 Books of the Month
Christian Science Monitor Editors' Pick: 10 Best Books of July
BBC Book of the Week
The Week Book of the Week
“The deeper the book ventures into the ocean, the more dramatic and unusual the organisms therein and the people who observe them…Through [Nestor's] eyes and his stories, it’s a journey well worth taking.”
— David Epstein, New York Times Book Review
—Wall Street Journal
"An engaging exploration of the depths of the world's oceans and the human connection to the rapidly changing world below. This is popular science writing at its best."
—Christian Science Monitor
"Rich and illuminating ... A passionate celebration of the possible and the unproven ... [Deep] will certainly enrich the thinking of anyone planning to spend time at the beach."
"Truly breathtaking ... Nestor gets right in with the competitors and rogue scientists who are unearthing mysteries of the deep and its inhabitants that we can't even imagine, in a book that's engaging and eye-popping."
"Nestor is crisp with his fun, seafaring facts; he is sober with his sprinkling of environmental bulletins. The book never preaches, and it’s a zippy read."
—Los Angeles Times
"Freediving, the sport that harnesses the mammalian dive reflex to survive deep plunges, can be a boon for marine researchers, avers James Nestor. We meet a salty cast of them, such as the 'aquanauts' of Aquarius, a marine analogue of the International Space Station submerged off the Florida Keys. Equally mesmeric are Nestor's own adventures, whether spotting bioluminescent species from a submarine in the bathypelagic zone, or freediving himself — and voyaging into humanity's amphibious origins in the process."
"Put Deep at the top of your reading list. This book will do for the oceans what Cosmos did for space. It's mind-bending, intrepid, and inspiring."
— Po Bronson
"With verve and humor, the author describes his own risk-taking attempts to understand the ocean's ancient secrets and future potential and the daring and brilliant people who have dedicated their lives to probing deeper ... [Nestor's] writing is sharp, colorful, and thrilling ... Bring[s] the ocean to life from a research perspective as well as a human one. An adventurous and frequently dazzling look at our planet's most massive habitat."
"A thrilling account, made timely by the rapidly changing state of earth’s most expansive environment." —Publishers Weekly
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