Smithsonian: Ask Smithsonian: What’s the Longest You Can Hold Your Breath?
A dive into the science shows it is possible to override the system
Whhile some studies say most people can hold their breath for 30 seconds to maybe a few minutes at most, Aleix Segura Vendrell of Spain, the most recent Guinness World Record holder, held his for an astonishing 24 minutes and 3 seconds while floating in a pool in Barcelona.
Don’t feel ashamed if you can’t even approach Segura Vendrell’s pulmonary prowess. The ability to hold your breath is hardwired.
Segura Vendrell achieved the record with the help of what is known as an oxygen-assist. He breathed pure oxygen for a certain period of time before he began his extended float—essentially hyperventilating, filling his lungs to capacity with oxygen.
Lung function—and breath holding—varies widely from individual to individual, says Clayton Cowl, chair of preventive occupational and aerospace medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
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CSN Editor: 24 minutes and 3 seconds is the world record.