DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What The Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was released in the United States and UK in June 2014. DEEP was a BBC Book of the Week, a Finalist for the PEN American Center Best Sports Book of the Year, an Amazon Best Science Book of 2014, BuzzFeed 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2014, ArtForum Top 10 Book of 2014, New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, Scientific American Recommended Read, Christian Science Monitor Editor’s Pick, and more.
The book follows clans of extreme athletes, adventurers, and scientists as they plumb the limits of the ocean's depths and uncover weird and wondrous new discoveries that, in many cases, redefine our understanding of the ocean and ourselves. DEEP has been translated into German, Chinese, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and more. The audiobook, read by Nestor, was released by Audible in June 2016.
In 1948, a young Australian mining engineer named Ben Carlin set out to do the impossible: circumnavigate the globe, by land and sea, in a single vehicle. The vehicle in question was an amphibious jeep developed by the U.S. Army, which Carlin christened Half-Safe, after a deodorant slogan. It was a mechanical mongrel that was supposed to move with equal ease across land and water but in practice wasn't much good for either one.
Undaunted, Carlin and his wife Elinore set out from New York with dreams of fame and fortune, and of carving a small notch in history. What happened next is one of the most bizarre, remarkable, and forgotten adventure stories of the 20th century.
Currently under contract with Penguin/Riverhead for a new nonfiction popular science book. As Publishers Weekly put it: "DEEP author James Nestor’s new book [tentatively-titled, 3.3] is a journalistic exploration of the emerging and often wildly curious field of breath research, following the path of a single inhale, from its origins in the Big Bang 14 billion years ago into our lungs, as Nestor embeds with pulmonology scientists on the edge of startling new discoveries and "breath hackers" who are tapping the human body's hidden potential in endurance, weight control, immune response, and longevity, all by harnessing breath, our most basic -- and misunderstood -- biological function."
To be published worldwide in late 2018.
"The Click Effect" is an Emmy-nominated VR film produced by WithIn and presented by Annapurna Pictures with support from the Sundance Institute and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
“The Click Effect’ debuted at Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and has since been viewed on the New York Times Virtual Reality app more than one million times.
The New York Times Opinion piece about the importance of studying sperm whale communication.
A meditation of sorts on what happens to the human body in water.
DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves has been translated into German, Chinese, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and more. French and Spanish editions forthcoming in 2018.
Charles and John Deane knew it would be dangerous. But the brothers—raised in the slums of Victorian London — also knew that plundering undersea shipwrecks could make them phenomenally rich. And so, in 1828, they invented the world’s first practical deep-sea diving rig.
Various stories about electrified sharks, Greek temples, and other water-related ilk.
At home with Harry Gesner, world-renowned architect, waterman, inventor, explorer, archeologist, and the last of the original Malibu soul surfers.
A segment for ABC’s Nightline based on DEEP with freediving researchers Fabrice Schnoller and Fred Buyle.
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Norway is home to some big, beautiful waves, but there's a catch: They're above the Arctic Circle. A 30-day expedition along surfing's coolest (and coldest) frontier.
A short interview about DEEP and other wateryness.
Keynote presentation about cetacean communication at the annual Bioneers conference.
The freediving world championships occur at the outer limits of competitive risk. During the 2011 event, held off the coast of Greece, more than 130 athletes assembled to swim hundreds of feet straight down on a single breath—without (they hoped) passing out, freaking out, or drowning. Meet the amazingly fit, unquestionably brave, and possibly crazy people who line up for the ultimate plunge.
Interview for the great Scuttlefish Magazine.
More lessons about the weird science of freediving.
Can the Bay Area's 3 million gallons of used vegetable oil rid us of our petroleum problem? Riding with a band of biodiesel enthusiast as they plunder waste bins of back alleys and convert old diesel cars to run on used vegetable oil.
Most deserts are dry and dusty expanses of blue skies, bleached soil, and rulerflat horizons. The Colorado Plateau is not one of them. This is a land of stunning contradictions, where thousand-foot rock monoliths jut like raised fists from flat riverbeds, and traffic-light-green foliage glows on stoplight-red soil. The sky here appears not blue but bright white, a flashbulb burst through squinted eyes.
DesignBuildBLUFF’s 2007 off-the-grid housing for Native Americans.
After searching 25 years for the perfect ride off the Great Bar, Doc Renneker finally makes a run for it -- and another surfing myth is born.
“I always wanted to live in a glass house,” explains Valerie Phelps, as she stands surrounded by the 40 feet of floor-to-ceiling windows that are the only walls of her living room. Laid out in a 270-degree panorama in front of her is the frosty expanse of Cook Inlet, cascading rocky mountains. It’s 10:30 at night and the sun is stuck in high-noon position.
An amble through Alaska's last design frontier.
My first-ever published article. “Rule No. 1: Don’t screw the students,” he said, sitting back down from shutting the door. . .
A look at the making of "The Click Effect," a virtual reality short documentary based on DEEP.
A compendium of stories about design, tree houses, used cooking oil, TICs, and old projectors.
How to run your Mercedes-Benz on used cooking oil.
From the portside window of the 19-seat passenger plane, the island of Niijima, 100 miles southeast of Tokyo, looked like any other tropical paradise. There were volcanic mountaintops wreathed in white clouds, valleys of verdant green jungle, and beaches filled with sand so bright and white the whole coastline looked as if it had been sketched out in chalk.
A collection of whales, freediving, surfing, driving, and outer limits of human potential.
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“BREATHING clearly lifts the mind and spirit,” said Amar Puri, a wiry man in a sweat-stained T-shirt, as he crouched on a patch of lawn and poured saltwater in one nostril with a neti pot. He snorted and sneezed, as the morning mist hovered just above the lead-gray surface of Phewa Lake, reflecting the Himalayas. “And now, I am ready for yoga.”
Adventures in Nepalese yoga.
Sleepless nights with a clandestine clan of adventurers who risk broken arms and jail time to climb around mine shafts, nuclear missile silos, and abandoned sugar refineries.
Bolts of lightning flashed in cobweb patterns overhead, the gray and storming sea sending wave after wave that crashed on the beach behind us. We paddled our borrowed surfboards furiously southward to avoid the whitewash, then, one by one, turned into the arching faces and rode them to shore. This wasn’t supposed to happen. There is no surf in Greece, fellow boarders had told me when I was planning my Greek surf safari.