Good question! The average depth of the
ocean is about 14,000 feet (2.65 miles;
NOAA.gov). The deepest part of the ocean is in
the Mariana Trench in the west Pacific Ocean.
This location, known as the Challenger Deep, is
about 36,200 feet deep (NOAA.gov). That is so
deep, that if Mount Everest were sitting on the
seafloor in the Challenger Deep, the top would
still be under water! I don’t know how long the
average person can hold their breath under water…
According to Wikipedia, the record for the longest
time that a person has held their breath under
water is 22 minutes
breath under water !
Of the animals that need to breathe oxygen gas (as
opposed to fish and other aquatic organisms that
obtain oxygen that’s dissolved in water), the
sperm whale holds the record for holding its
breath the longest. Sperm whales can hold there
breath for up to 2 hours, while diving more than
6,000 feet deep (Watkins et al., 2002, Marine
Mammal Science)! Some types of turtles are able to
stay submerged for even longer, but perhaps this
shouldn’t count. Turtles get most of their oxygen
from breathing air, but they can also absorb
oxygen that is dissolved in water. Musk turtles
have been observed to survive for seven months
underwater by absorbing oxygen through their skin
(Belkin, 1968, Respiration Physiology).
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