Mystery man shows up in Japan, claims he swam there from Russia

Originally published at: Mystery man shows up in Japan, claims he swam there from Russia | Boing Boing


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Erewhon awaits with open arms!


Praise, Ydgrun!

I remember when Google Maps’s default for overseas trips on the walking mode included delightfully absurd instructions like, “swim the Pacific Ocean, 45 days.” Guess maybe the Russian version still does…?


59 degrees is quite chilly, but there’s a local Russian guy who swims for extended periods of time on the Chicago lakefront in the spring. High 30’s or low 40’s.

60.8 degrees F is considered the lower bound of competition swimming pool temperatures:

So it is doable for an accomplished swimmer, if risky.


“ The average person can swim for about 30 minutes in water at 60 degrees, but this time may vary depending on your size and swimming style. Those who have more body fat are able to last longer because they produce more heat than those with less weight. But people should still avoid staying in the cold water past an hour!”

That’s about 12.5 miles. A decent pool swimmer will be able to swim a mile in 30-40 minutes. Easier than ocean & only one mile. Much longer as length increases.

Calling bullshit on this. Maybe if he was floating on top of something and paddled with his legs or arms.


Does he still have both of his feet?


Today the English Channel is about 60 degrees, per a couple quick websearches.

Channel swimmers do NOT wear wetsuits.

Each length of the Channel is about 20 miles but can be longer if the currents hate you.

So what this guy claims to have done is possible. Unlikely that he just dove in and swam across, but technically possible. If he trained, if he wore a wetsuit, if he had a float of some sort… totally possible.

*Sarah Thomas swam it four times in 2019, setting the all time record. No wetsuit. 54 hours, 130 miles in open water.


@Jesse13927 has the scoop on this:


I wonder if this guy made some or even most of his trip in a boat? So the proximate arrival method could be “I swam,” but it need not have been a particularly superhuman crossing.

Yes. See the post above yours.


…which wasn’t there when I posted.

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Definitely possible. As pointed out above this is swimming halfway across the English Channel and the water temp is about the same, which (a very select few) people do all the time in the same way people climb Everest all the time.

Apparently your English channel crossing doesn’t even count if you use a wetsuit according to whoever deciders such things.

I’ve done the Alcatraz swim in San Francisco almost 20 times, once with no wetsuit, 60F-ish water there too. Doing it 10x in a day would be brutal but I’m really not in that good shape.

Basically it comes down to - was this guy swimming regularly? If not then he’s lying. A trained fit swimmer tho…can’t be dismissed out of hand

Note that the Russian verbs плыть and плавать can mean “to float” or “to sail” as well as “to swim”.


Yes. Takes time to type.

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