Super humans

There are limits to what we can do because our bodies are fragile. But there are some people around the world who are able to perform amazing feats.

Beating the cold

YOU may have heard of monks up in the Himalayas (喜馬拉雅山) who are not bothered by the freezing weather. Scientists tried to see how they managed this by monitoring their armpit and finger temperatures. The researchers found that the monks’ breathing techniques raised the body temperature. But if they also meditated at the same time, the temperature rose even further.

Children of the sea

WE cannot see clearly underwater without goggles. But young sea nomads off the coasts of Burma (緬甸) and Thailand (泰國) have no such problem. These children, from the Moken tribe, reportedly learn to swim before they walk. They collect shells, sea cucumbers and clams from the seabed. Researchers believe that Moken children can focus underwater by constricting their pupils and changing the shape of the eye’s lens.

Born to run and run

THE Tarahumara people in northwest Mexico (墨西哥) can run up to 320 kilometres in two days in their traditional sandals. No one knows how they do it, but their diet may provide a clue. They eat beans, corn and vegetables, and drink a home-made brew which is full of healthy substances including fibre, protein and antioxidants. The Tarahumara have low cholesterol levels and rarely suffer from heart disease and diabetes.

Masters of the ocean

DIVING comes naturally to the Bajau – sea nomads who live off the coasts of eastern Indonesia (印尼), the Philippines (菲律賓) and East Malaysia (馬來西亞). They spend around five hours a day under the sea, staying submerged for several minutes a time searching for seafood. The Bajau are blessed with a ‘diving response’. This slows their heart rate, and diverts blood to their heart, brain, and working muscles, making the most of the oxygen they breathed in before diving.