Humans have been diving from long before the thought of scuba tanks came into existence. Certain tribes still carry on the traditions of their ancestors as they lead simple lives depending on the sea for their food and livelihood.
Some notable tribes such as the Badjao sea gypsies teach their children to dive and hunt for food from the early age of eight. They live almost entirely on the crystal waters surrounding Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia in houses built on stints or handmade boats and they only set foot on land to trade their catch for items they cannot get from the ocean.
They’ve lived this way for so long that their children’s eyes have adapted to see more clearly whilst underwater. They free dive nearly 20 meters and spend about a total of almost 5 hours a day submerged in order to catch fish, octopuses, sea cucumbers and lobsters.
The semi-nomadic Moken people follows a similar lifestyle where their dependency on the ocean is so valued that they say, “The Ocean is our universe”. They live in the Mergui archipelago, which is a group of roughly 800 islands in the Andaman Sea claimed by both Burma and Thailand.
Supposedly, their children can swim before they can even walk. Studies have shown that these children also have super human eyes that let them focus clearly underwater. They are a peaceful, nature-loving group of people that are neither slaves to time nor schedules and shun material possessions and technology. Their knowledge of the sea enables them to forage for food and also lets them barter their catch for other necessities at the market. Unfortunately, much of their traditional life, which is built on the premise of life as outsiders, is under threat due to commercialized fishing as well as interferences from the government.
Even though these people lack any form of education outside their own “walls” and cannot read or write you still feel envious for their simple lives based on living in the moment. They live embracing nature and do not waste time idly and instead they contribute to the survival of their families. Plus the constant exercise they get as well as natural food they eat contributes to a seemingly happy and healthy lifestyle.