2 years ago132.2K views
Babies can learn to swim underwater for short distances, partly because of a reaction know as 'the diving reflex'. This reflex, also called the bradycardic response, causes babies to hold their breath and open their eyes when submerged. The response weakens as a baby gets older, but even adults have it to some degree.
Swedish researchers studying the dive reflex in infants from 3 months of age, found that none of them inhaled water during "diving" (being gently pulled underwater). They also noted that the babies didn't seem apprehensive about the next dive. In fact, some seemed eager to dive again!
When the baby goes underwater the epiglottis closes over, blocking water from going down the throat. The baby's eyes also stay open underwater. Photos and video of babies underwater clearly display this reflex as they swim with eyes wide open and their mouth open at times as well.
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