One Piece’s universe revealed a plethora of Devil Fruit, so far. Aside from their common features, each one has some specificities, precisely regarding their weaknesses; water is one of them.
This article will explore the incidence of the Gomu Gomu no Mi on Luffy’s swimming capability. As a bonus, there is some crunchy info waiting for you down below, and mysteries resolved on other characters too.
As usual, your humble servant that I am will be honored to lead you through the current trip. I appreciate sharing content with those who became my fellow comrades 8 years ago, the One Piece community. I hope you’ll enjoy this article.
Take a seat and have fun.
Why can’t Luffy swim?
Among the weaknesses of those who ate Devil Fruits, the “Sea” is the primordial nemesis.
Every bearer of Devil Fruit abilities gets weakened when immersed in water. As the story says, they are “hated by the Sea”.
The more submerged, the more incapacitated. Thus, superficial contact of one’s limbs with water will induce a slight malaise. The severe incidence comes when half of the body or more is exposed to water and even moving gets arduous.
Some updates of the SBS Interview – Vol 41 clarified that the term “Sea” isn’t restricted to salt water. Any stretch of water represents a danger for the Devil Fruit bearers.
So, yes, Luffy can literally die from bathing. It’s now sure that Luffy only bathes approximately twice a week.
However, flowing water such as rivers, or rain is safe for them. Just like it didn’t affect Luffy at Loguetown.
Will Luffy sink into Sea instantaneously?
Moving along to our main concern, Luffy, like all those who ate a Devil Fruit is meant to sink if his body is half-immerse or more, in some standing water. Being made of rubber doesn’t make a difference.
Nevertheless, we have seen Luffy inflating his body a couple of times.
And, that little detail can extend his floatability, just like a buoy. Thus, absorbing air, to the point he inflates could prevent him from sinking instantaneously.
Luffy is flesh and bone made of rubber; water couldn’t negate it. But undoubtedly, he will not only lose all of his strength but his Devil Fruit abilities too.
At a certain moment, he won’t be able to hold that air, due to the insane fatigue that will come over him. And, he will probably go send some greeting to the fish underneath.
Is there any Devil Fruit eater who can float?
A scene of Alabasta occurred to create a great misunderstanding. Many fans thought that Mr.3 could float.
At Rain Base, right after Sanji, aka “Mister Prince” rescued Luffy and the other Straw Hats jailed, he left a prank letter on an unconscious Mr. 3’s body, floating at the surface of the flooded room.
In the manga, the letter was supposed to be, by the happiest luck, lying down on a highly floatable plank of wood, the “Kuuigosu”.
The material is four times more floatable than an average human. That type of wood is prized in shipbuilding, for its weightlessness mainly on Fish-Man Island.
Even if a closer look allows us to notice a tiny deformation at Mr. 3’s back, as a support, the aforesaid plank wasn’t clearly distinctive.
A little detail, but the start of a snowball of confusion. Oda put out the misunderstanding through an answer in SBS Interview Vol 25.
Furthermore, the tricky piece of wood has been replaced with a regular table to elude any perplexity, in the anime.
We put the reference for the anime and the manga right here: episode 109, and chapters 175-176.
Some pirates such as King, a Fish-Man who ate a Devil Fruit, are still able to survive underwater thanks to their native attributes.
In a nutshell, Luffy will stay for a few times at the surface, if he inflated beforehand. But as water drains his strength, he will exhale air from fatigue and sink.