These Ocean-Dwelling People Suffer From “Dry Land Sickness”

sama bajau child

You’ve heard of sea sickness or motion sickness, right? That nasty feeling some people get whenever they go on a boat that makes them want to throw their guts out? Well, believe it or not, there’s something even weirder. That’s exactly what happens to the people of the Bajau when they go on land!

The people of the Bajau, also called “sea gypsies,” are people who live on the sea. Although many people live near the sea, the Bajau people in Southeast Asia are a community of people who actually live on the ocean and have built entire villages on the sea.

sama bajau children


They build their houses on coral reefs and some live in boats houses. When they are forced to go on land occasionally, they report a “dry disease” – nausea, dizziness, and a general feeling on unwellness.

That being said, many of the Bajau are known as amazing divers. They are able to dive to a depth of more than 20 meters and stay there for minutes without oxygen tanks. They just take a lot of air into their lungs and voila – they go fishing.

sama bajau people

Beyond their remarkable diving skills, many members of the tribe have adapted to the aquatic environment and have better eyesight underwater than most people. They use spears to fish and rely almost entirely on the sea to survive.