A group of Indonesians have evolved to have bigger spleens

The Bajau are a group of people who have lived  on an Indonesian island for centuries. Traditionally they spend a lot of of time diving in the ocean for food.

When humans enter the water, the spleen contracts. This releases more red blood cells which in turn has the effect of helping us hold our breath for longer.

How are these two things linked? The Bajau have developed spleens up to 50% bigger than normal, and can hold their breath for a very long time while diving. This isn’t quite evolution, as the article states, but it’s pretty remarkable nonetheless.

Source: A group of Indonesians have evolved to have bigger spleens — Quartz

Author: Matthew Culnane

Sometime social and UX person working in education. Interested in food, books, music, others. Working out how it all works.