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Saturday, February 15, 2014

HOW LONG CAN YOU FAST?

giant isopod at the Toba Aquarium in Mie Prefecture, Japan began a fast 5 years and 43 days ago...but just passed away:


Named #1, it came from the Gulf of Mexico in 2007.  A giant isopod is a crustacean and lives at cold ocean depths.  It can grow to 14 inches long and weigh almost 4 pounds,  Not a predator, it survives on whales, squids and other food that fall close to them.  Thus, fasting is a way of life.  But they have existed for 160 million (Homo sapiens have maybe been around for only 200,000 years, a fifth of a million), so something is working.  There are eight more at the Toba Aquarium.  You can buy this pillow at the Numazu Deep Sea Aquarium in Japan for $60.

How long can you fast?  When Mahatma Gandhi was about my age, he was already slight, and proceeded to fast for 21 days, sipping only water.    He lived on for another 14 years.  Rita Chretien lost 30 pounds over a 48 day period when she and her husband's van got stuck in the mud in Nevada.  He went for help and was never found.  She did consume some trail mix and candy, plus water from a stream.  Hunger strikes as long as 73 days have been documented.  It is generally believed that the maximum a human can survive without any sustenance is two weeks.  It is virtually impossible to recover if your brain is denied oxygen for 15 minutes.

Then there is the recent story of Ecudorian castaway, Jose Salvador Alvarenga, who has not yet been discredited for surviving 13 months on a 20+ foot fiberglass boat from Mexico to the Marshall Islands on rainwater, raw aquatic animals and small birds.  There is a lot of suspicion to the veracity of his story, for he was not emaciated and kept changing his name and tale.

But all the above is nothing compared to salt-resistant bacteria isolated and revived after 250 million years!   They were found in halite (rock salt) from Carsbad, New Mexico:


The actual specie is B. permians:


Here is a scientific point of view of the above, which remains controversial.  And another.


The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
Medal standings
     COUNTRY                    GOLD               SILVER             BRONZE
1
Germany
7
3
2
12
2
Switzerland
5
1
1
7
3
Russia
4
6
5
15
4
Canada
4
5
3
12
5
Netherlands
4
4
6
14
6
United States
4
3
7
14
7
Norway
4
3
6
13

Russia now leads with 15 total medals.

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