UPDATED: 10 Reasons Why Underwater BASE-Jumper Guillaume Nery’s Dean’s Hole Video is Fake and Now He
Bros all over the world look far and wide for that next “Everest” — the epic hurdle that warrants endless high-fives. The most recent alleged “summit” went in the opposite direction: Underwater BASE-jumper Guillaume Nery claims that he touched bottom in Dean’s Hole, the deepest blue hole in the world at 663 feet — and he’s got the viral video to prove it.
But here’s the thing: the video, though totally amazing to watch, is also a total fake. The world record for free-dive depth was set by Herbert Nitsch at 214 meters (or 702 feet for us American bros). Nery’s depth is alarmingly close to the record, and yet if you compare videos of both feats (Nitsch’s is at the end of this story), you’d see why one is the real deal and one definitely isn’t.
After the jump, check out the top 10 reasons why Guillaume Nery’s is fake (but still pretty cool). (UPDATE: He now admits it’s fake; see his explanation after the jump.)
10. We never see him equalize once. I’m sure he did, even if he only went 100’ (I’d still be impressed). Equalizing is when you pinch your nose and blow out, popping your eardrums. This counteracts the enormous pressure of diving at depth. If he didn’t do this, his mask would suck his eyes out and his eardrums would implode…
9. He did not pack air. At the beginning of the video, he just traipsed into the water. No big last gulp of air. Having watched other divers attempt these depths, at the surface they do breathing exercises to expel all the carbon dioxide from their lungs. Also, this technique increases lung capacity. Every little bit of air counts.
8. No sled? If you’re going beyond say 300′ without one of these, good luck getting to the bottom and back up before you run out of breath. Sleds are used to expedite your journey to the deep. A weight or motor is used to drag you down as fast as possible without you personally exerting much energy and thereby using up what little air you have.
7. No lift bag. When down, say 663′, you want to get the hell out of dodge as fast as possible (i.e. get a taste of that sweet surface air). A lift bag is something you use compressed air to inflate. Once inflated, that bag is going one way. Up.
6. Speaking of physical exertion, he runs to the edge, chills, then jumps off and free falls to the bottom. Once there, he chills some more, shoots himself to the wall, and proceeds to climb it all the way to the surface. Personally, if I were doing this on dry land I’d be short of breath. Granted, this guy does seem super-human. He’d have to be.
5. At 663′ there would be next to zero natural light. Also, visible colors would be greatly distorted at depths way short of that. You lose red at 10′, orange and yellow at 30′, and green leaves at about 60′. I can see that French flag on his arm pretty clearly the whole way down.
4. Not necessarily a reason that it’s fake, but at 2:25-2:30 into the video you can see a few sharks. As it turns out this cheese-eating surrender-monkey isn’t a total puss. Not that diving in a blue hole isn’t scary in the first place.
3. I’m not sure if they used it, but in 1:26-1:30, you can clearly see a wire descending from a possible boat to the bottom of the hole.
2. The video’s credits claim that another free diver did all of the filming. That means two people base-jumped into Dean’s Hole. If one person did all of the filming on one attempt and that person was a free diver, then they both did it in one breath. I can believe holding your breath for four minutes is possible with practice. However, I don’t believe it’s possible to hold your breath for that long and swim like Nery — and his camerman — did. And by the way, his cameraman actually beat him to the bottom: shouldn’t he be getting some of the glory, too?
1. If there was one free diving cameraman who was shooting without air tanks, how did they get 34 some-odd camera angles including the one where the cameraman met Guillaume on the bottom?
What do I think really happened? I think the cameraman was using air tanks, lots of them (if it was really Dean’s Hole). But, I don’t think it was Dean’s Hole. I think is was a much shallower one for the bottom shot and Dean’s Hole for the 200’ and shallower shots.
UPDATE: Nery writes to the Huffington Post: “Nery emailed us to say he never reached the bottom; the distance is so far as to make it impossible. Nery says, ‘This movie is an artistic project, a fiction.’ He shot it with his girlfriend over the course of four afternoons.”
Here’s the real deal: