Photo via Business Innovation Factory via Flickr CC
We've heard of people doing some crazy swims to draw attention to a particular cause - for instance, Big River Man who swims some of the mightiest rivers in the world and in the process, points out their problems with pollution and other issues. But this latest swimmer is solid enough to make the toughest members of the Polar Bear club shiver. Lewis Gordon Pugh managed to become the first person to finish a long-distance swim in a lake on the world's highest mountain - Mount Everest - and he did it wearing just a Speedo.People do some crazy things out of passion for the planet. Roz Savage rowed across two oceans to advocate for taking better care of our planet. Pugh chooses to swim in some of the most frigid waters in the world to highlight how global warming is changing our sea ice.
In 2007, Pugh swam in the Arctic for the same reasons, but unfortunately, not much has improved since then. So he took to some of the highest waters around, Pumori Lake near the Khumbu Glacier. It took him 22 minutes in waters less than 2 degrees Celsius.
He stated, He said: "It's one of the hardest swims I've ever undertaken. When I swam in Antarctica and across the North Pole I swam with speed and aggression but on Mount Everest you can't use the same tactics. Because of the altitude you need to swim very slowly and deliberately... I was deeply concerned that I wouldn't make 1km and I'm delighted that I've finally achieved it."
We're hoping he also achieved another goal - bringing attention to fragile ecosystems. On his website, Pugh states, "I will never forget the first time I saw a polar bear. I was in awe of its absolute beauty. I realised at that moment that I may be one of the last people to see them alive. Their habitat is melting away rapidly with climate change.
"By swimming in vulnerable ecosystems, I want to draw attention to the impact of our actions. They say that seeing is believing and it's certainly true. I hope that through my swims, and the filming and reporting of them, I can act as the eyes of the world."
If ever there were a reason to do something life-threatening and downright crazy, this would be it. Congrats, Mr. Pugh, for completing your swim!
Follow Jaymi on Twitter for more stories like this
More on Climate Activism
Activist Cyclists Call for 100% Renewables in 10 years (Video)
Deepa Gupta Talks Climate Change Activism, Youth in India, and More (Interview)
Chinese Climate Activists Risk Arrest to Strip in Public Protest