The Dolphin Cried, Then Enzo Dived

The famous Italian diver Enzo Mallorca recalled “when I first started thinking about setting freediving records, the medical experts kept saying that a man could not stay alive diving deeper than 165ft [50m] because his lungs would not make it.”

“Doctors were creating barriers for us and I admit that at the time it worried me,” he admitted. “Even Aristotle claimed a man could dive no deeper than 30 ft.”

In September 1960, he successfully descended to a depth of 45m, in the process setting the first of 17 wworld records in the variable buoyancy category.

Two months later, he extended this to 49m.

Enzo Mallorca died at 86 in 2016.

In August 1961 he set a new record of 50m in the “constant weight” category, in which there are no additional buoyancy aids and the diver must descend and ascend with their own fin power. The Italian media dubbed him Lord of the Abysses.

Years later, Enzo dove into the sea of Syracuse and was talking to his daughter Rosanna who was aboard the boat. Ready to go in, he felt something slightly hit his back.

He turned and saw a dolphin. Then he realized that the dolphin did not want to play but to express something.

The animal dove and Enzo followed.

At a depth of about 12 meters, trapped in an abandoned net, there was another dolphin. Enzo quickly asked his daughter to grab the diving knives. Soon, the two of them managed to free the dolphin, which, at the end of the ordeal, emerged, issued an “almost human cry” (describes Enzo).

(A dolphin can stay under water for up to 10 minutes, then it drowns.)

The released dolphin was helped to the surface by Enzo, Rosanna and the other dolphin. That’s when the surprise came: she was pregnant!

The male circled them, and then stopped in front of Enzo, touched his cheek (like a kiss), in a gesture of gratitude and then they both swam off.

Enzo Mallorca once said, “Until man learns to respect and speak to the animal world, he can never know his true role on Earth.”

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4 comments

  1. 45 Meters = 147.6378 Feet
    49 Meters = 160.7612 Feet
    50 Meters = 164.042 Feet

    For the Curious, there is 39.37″ in a Meter, and 25.4 mm in an Inch.

    50 Meters is 1968.5 Inches and Divide that by 12, it gives Feet.

    Both of these values were from Opticianry School in the 1980s, and I’ve remembered them since. A 1 Diopter Lens has a Focal Length of 1 Meter. And the Pupillary Distance (PD) is the distance between the Eyes when Looking at a Distant Object (there’s a trick to measuring it), and it’s Measured in MM.

    Of course, it doesn’t compare to the value of this wonderful story. Mine is just trivia. But there is a connectivity between nature and humans that is much deeper than we realize. My wife feeds squirrels on the deck, they come to the door to mooch them. The door was open one day, and the most common visiting squirrel here entered the home like he lived here. She coaxed him outside. He takes food from her, reluctantly, but he comes over to get it. I tried the other day, he came over to get it, but slapped it out of my hand. Little bugger. She went out and handed him one.

    Hummingbirds, they come to where we are sitting to signal the feeder has territorial bees on it (they posture towards the hummingbird), aggressive hummingbirds on it, they act like they own it (usually a male that I don’t think is involved in rearing the young), not letting others eat, or Spider Webs in the area. But we have seen this behavior over and over, many times, in different locations, the birds know you can resolve the issue. Be attuned to your wildlife neighbors. We plant flowers to feed the bees, avoid poisons to prevent harming the insects and wildlife (ugh, the neighbor uses Round-Up on his property), and compost leaves since insects are known to lay eggs on the leaves for next season’s hatching, and disposing of the leaves disposes of the insects.

    There are limitations. We had a Ground Bee (they are actually wasps) hive exterminated professionally since it was next to the sidewalk, and the potential to harm others is too great. The same hive in a remote corner of the yard may have been ignored, but on limited property, we may still have had them exterminated. Mice outside I don’t mind. Rats are verboten (we live in a town, not far from the main street, and they venture up into the neighborhoods, especially when the restaurants were closed due to the pandemic).

    Great Story, great outcome. Thanks much.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Always interesting observations. Dodie loves hummingbirds & has 3 on our back deck.Further back, she has a birdfeeder. There are also 2 birdbaths near both the birdfeeder & the hummingbird feeders. Squirrels help themselves here too.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. This is such a great story.
    It’s so wild here that I would never feed the birds, because of bears, and besides, the natural growth is so profuse that there are tons of hummingbirds anyway, and squirrels, and other birds. Besides, bird food would only assist my cat, who is far too good at catching birds as it is. She’s always bringing them in, and then I rescue them. It would be fun to try to tame the many critters around, but there is always, Micah, the mighty hunter. So I just get to observe, but they all like it here, and if there is a bee shortage, it sure is not here. The wild flowers in the brookyard, I think keep my neighbor’s beehives supplied!

    Liked by 3 people

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