The Man Who Swam the Amazon: 3,274 Miles on the World's Deadliest River by Matthew Mohlke

On Sunday, April 8, 2007, a 52-year-old self-described fat man in a Speedo by the name of Martin Strel swam 3,274 miles of the Amazon River. The Fish Man, as he was called by locals, almost died in the process several times. At the finish his blood pressure was at heart attack level, his entire body full of subcutaneous larvae, and besieged by dehydration and diarrhea and exhaustion. Strel undertook this epic swim to call attention to two issues he is concerned about: deforestation, and river pollution. Along the way he suffered from blisters, sunburn, exotic stomach illnesses, all the while trying to avoid piranhas, anacondas, crocodiles, alligators, river sharks, and a small fish known as the canduru, which when attracted by the smell of urine releases razor-sharp spines into the human orifice it has crawled into.

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