Sinking and Swimming

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cslewis, May 30, 2006.

?

Do you float or sink?

  1. Yes, I can float

    74.6%
  2. No, I sink under the water

    23.7%
  3. Sorry, I don't know how to swim: but now's a great time to find out!

    5.1%
  1. cslewis macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W
    #1
    While I was at the municipal swimming pool today, I noticed something interesting. I was hanging out in the diving well with a few of my friends, sitting around and trying to stay afloat. The problem was that I kept sinking into the water. In fact, if I didn't vigorously kick my legs and flail my arms I slowly sank. While all of my other friends could lay on their backs and float, I was left bobbing upright with my head half an inch below the surface. Why is that? Why do certain people float and certain people sink?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Fat people float. If you're skinny, you'll find it hard to float. If you're muscly, you'll find it even harder. It's also dependent on how much air you're keeping in your lungs. :)
     
  3. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #3
    Did you have two lungs full of air?

    Me and the jew rock the house. ;)
     
  4. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #4
    Hm, and here I thought buoyancy was something about maintaining less density. :p

    Actually though, I think it's more than just fat vs thinner people. Some people are just more buoyant (I'm sure someone more knowledgable than I will come and tell us more).

    Man, the poll doesn't it cut it for me. I can somewhat float. My legs and feet start to sink. :eek:
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5

    No problem too small, no question too abstract. :D
     
  6. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
  7. cslewis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W
    #7
    Yep, I breathed in so heavily it hurt.

    Ah, do you think losing 24 pounds in two months would do that? I could float last summer... :p
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8

    Depends. As devilot said, it's a matter of density which means it is dependent on weight and volume. Remember, muscle is more dense than fat. :)
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    I used to sink like a rock. Now I float like styrofoam. The whole fat/muscle/density thing is true.
     
  10. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #10
    Heh. Hahha. I'm sorry, I find that hillarious. Especially because I know that I've seen styrofoam float, but I don't know where, how, or why. :D :eek:
     
  11. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #11
    I really dislike the idea of immersing myself in water without standing on something somewhat solid. :eek:

    So, I don't intend to find out if I float or sink.

    Short of some catastrophe.

    May my buoyancy remain mysterious, then ...
     
  12. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #12
    For some strange reason I find that when you are not concentrating on swimming i.e. floating, you float naturally with out any effort, but once you realise you are floating you quickly begin to sink and have to 'force' yourself to float.

    A long time ago when I did not know how to swim, I was at a beach paying close attention to the water (not looking at the shore) as such I did not realise that the tide pulled me back a good 50 metres. I was floating naturally when I did not realise this, however I eventually looked up at the shore and instantly when I realised that I was in really deep water, began to sink. I owe my life to a surfer who was around and offered assistance.

    As a side not I highly recommend people who can't swim take some lessons, its the best thing you can do for yourself. I took a course on swimming and surviving and can safely feel confident around the water. It included everything such as cpr, swimming, to learning about tides, waves, and etc
     
  13. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #13
    i float. but i'm i'm whimpy body figure so ya....
    When i was in australia and went scuba diving i was down swimming around then all of sudden i floated up to the surface almost hitting my head on the bottom of the boat... now that's freaky...:eek: :eek:
     
  14. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    I'm sort of mid grounds. I'm very muscular, so I sink, but I slowly sink, not like a rock.
     
  15. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #15
    I'm not fat, but I float (large lungs). If I exhale, I'll sink. This works great while snorkeling.

    D
     
  16. CompUser Guest

    #16
    Andy, the best thing to do start to sink normally, level your body so your entire front of your body is facing the bottom of the pool, and then just let all the air out of your lungs. Its really fun. You sink like a rock and you can lay on the bottom. Just don't do it too much or you will get a really bad headache.
     
  17. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #17
    That's fun to do.

    Floatability varies with the type of water as well. It is much easier to float in salt water vice fresh water.

    For kicks, take a deep breath, dive down a little ways (5-6 feet), then curl up like a ball holding your arms around your legs. Then stay that way. You will eventually float to the surface with your back being the high point.
     
  18. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    I haven't tested how people sink or float, but I did test the claim that diet soft drinks float and non-diet soft drinks sink. It was true, at least for Cokes.

    I'll have to throw some people in the water next, to see if dieters sink and non-dieters float.
     
  19. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #19
    Couldn't agree more.

    Ya never know when you might end up in water. And knowing what to do can save your life.
     
  20. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #20
    Better than keeping a positive mental outlook? :D

    *counts on other MRers to save him when the apocalypse comes*
     
  21. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #21
    I got an award from the mayor once for doing a star float. You have no idea how many years I have waited to be able to say that...

    If I breathe in, I float. If I breathe out, I sink. If I lie on my back I can normally stay afloat :)
     
  22. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #22
    First job was a life guard, several pounds ago. :)
     
  23. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    #23
    Ive got the sinking leg condition as well. Generally I float though. Pretty effortlessly in fact. I did grow up on an island and did a lot of swimming though. Maybe its just natural at this point? Anyway, it does seem easier to float in the ocean than to float in a pool. Maybe our sinkers should try the ocean and see if its any different.
     
  24. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #24
    I float. I'll bet that iGav does too. But, I'll sink soon! I'm going to start exercising next Monday! :D
     
  25. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #25
    That's 'cause salt changes the density of the water. :D Wait, right? Right? :eek:
     

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