Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, marathon swimmers and open water swimmers around the world use relatively little equipment, but what they use comes from a long history.

While some channel swimmers use Channel grease, lanolin and a variety of other combinations including Vaseline, Desitin and axle grease over the years, pearl divers over the millennia have frequently greased their bodies to conserve heat at they dove to the cold depths and worked in cool-water conditions.

While some marathon swimmers use silicon earplugs, pearl divers over the centuries have used greased cotton in their ears to help combat the cold.

While some ocean swimmers bodysurf into shore, pearl divers have long used heavy rocks to descend to the depths and conserve energy.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association