What Nothingness Feels Like

An Hour In The Tank

About a month ago I drove into San Francisco with two buddies of mine to spend an hour in a Sensory Deprivation Tank. It was an experience unlike any other.

What Is It?

It’s a big tank that’s filled with 10 inches of water infused with 1,200 lbs of salt, causing the water to become supersaturated and allow you to float effortlessly on the surface. The temperature of the water is made to match your body temperature, essentially eliminating the sensation of contact. No sound, no light, no sense of touch. It’s an environment unlike any other in the world.


What truly fascinated me was the lack of sensory input to the brain. No distractions- just pure thought amplified by silence and darkness.

My Experience

I was initially a little nervous about the tank, so I floated with the door open for a couple of seconds.The effortlessness of floating amazed me. I closed the door, laid back, put my arms at my side and closed my eyes. After a couple of minutes the feeling of the water vanished. My legs twitched a bit as lactic acid was released and my muscles relaxed. After adjusting to the tank, there was no difference between keeping my eyes open or closed, it was just pure darkness.

The whole experience was a big exercise in letting go. I’d start to relax and let all my senses go, but after a bit I’d twitch a finger to feel the water ripple and then have to start over. I spent so much time thinking about how cool it was, and how relaxed I was that I never really got to dive deeply into any of my thoughts. I thought about a ton of subjects, but it was more quantitative then qualitative.

I was in a state between awake and asleep. The hour flew by. When time was up I got up to move and my body felt heavy. It took me two tries to sit up and get out. I was in an extremely relaxed state, my mind felt calm. But here’s the cool part - I didn’t feel tired, I actually felt very very awake and full of energy, similar to how you feel after about 30 minutes of yoga and breathing excercises.

I’m absolutely going to go back. Since I’ve experienced it once before and have nothing to fear, I should be able to let go and explore my thoughts even further.

If You’re Interested

I would recommend it to anyone, even just to experience the distinctive environment. If you’re interested, watch this video and head over to yelp and search “sensory deprivation” to find a tank near you.

Have you tried it? What did you think? Continue the conversation in the Unusual Adventures collection.