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Activist and adventurer, Lewis Gordon Pugh also known as the 'human polar bear' is busy training for a new expedition - To swim across the Khumbu Glacier Lake, located 17,000 feet above sea level, on the slopes of the Himalaya Mountains.
If that isn't enough to send chills up your spine, then try this - He will be wearing only his Speedo swimsuit, swim cap and swim goggles, during the 1km swim, expected to take 20 minutes or less . . . . Brrrrr!
Lewis, who is planning to swim sometime in April 2010, is trying to raise awareness of the ecological disaster that may be in store for the world's tallest mountain ranges, if we don't do something to curb global warming soon.
With temperatures in the Himalayas rising at an alarming rate of one percent a year, scientists are predicting that all its glaciers will disappear in the next twenty-five years - a huge problem, given that they are the main source of water for Asia's nine rivers, which in turn provide water to 1.3 billion people or about a fifth of the world's population!
While it may seem humanly impossible for anybody to swim in the freezing glacier water, Pugh is the one person who may be able to pull it off - after all he is the 'human polar bear', who stunned the world in 2007, when he became the first man to swim in 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-1.8 degrees Celsius) temperatures, across a patch in the North Pole, to get the world to focus on the melting of the Arctic Sea Ice.
Besides training in frozen pools and putting on a lot of weight (have you seen a cold whale?), Pugh also uses a swim technique that is unique to him. Called 'anticipatory thermogenesis', which essentially means creating body heat before the event, Lewis raises his temperature from 98.6 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit (from 37 to 39.5 degrees Celsius), and his heart rate from 70 to 160 beats a second - similar to how it would be after a long run, except, in this case, Lewis is doing it with the power of his mind! Once he is hot and sweaty, he dives in.
While Lewis has done extreme swims before, this is probably going to be his biggest challenge - For not only will the water be colder, but there will also be no warm boat to retreat into, once the swim is over. However, if anyone can accomplish this feat, it will be the 'human polar bear'. To read more about this amazing man and his quest to save the world, check out his website at www.lewispugh.com.