One Piece fans have long wondered if any Devil Fruit eaters are able to swim. As we know, consuming a Devil Fruit gives the user incredible powers, but at the cost of losing the ability to swim. Seawater saps their strength and causes them to sink like anchors. However, could there be exceptions to this rule? Are there any Devil Fruit users who can still manage to swim despite the curse of the sea?
The Effect of Seawater on Devil Fruit Eaters
To understand if any Devil Fruit users can swim, we first need to examine how seawater affects them. When a Devil Fruit user comes into contact with seawater, they immediately start to lose their strength and coordination. Their powers become useless, and they sink rapidly, unable to stay afloat.
This effect occurs because seawater contains the “essence of the sea.” Oda stated in an SBS that the sea “hates” the power of Devil Fruits and drains their users of energy. The deeper a Devil Fruit user sinks into the sea, the weaker they become. Eventually, they will drown if not rescued in time.
Some Devil Fruits users describe the sensation of being immersed in seawater as feeling feverish or having their strength sapped. Others say it paralyzes them, making it impossible to swim. Regardless, all Devil Fruit eaters experience a total loss of power and control when submerged in seawater.
Known Examples of Devil Fruit Eaters Sinking
Throughout the One Piece story, we’ve seen many examples of Devil Fruit users rapidly sinking when in contact with seawater:
– Luffy – As a rubber man, he cannot swim and sinks like a hammer. He must be rescued quickly before drowning.
– Chopper – Likewise sinks as a hammer due to his Devil Fruit powers. Needs to be fished out fast.
– Robin – Her flower-flower fruit powers are neutralized by the sea, causing her to sink.
– Brook – His revived skeleton body immediately loses strength in water.
– Jack – The mammoth Zoan fruit user almost drowned during his fight with the minks.
– Alvida – Her smooth-smooth fruit powers couldn’t save her from sinking in her early appearance.
– Smoker – The smoke man also sinks despite his Logia ability, showing seastone’s supremacy.
So history shows all Devil Fruit users are affected in the same way – losing coordination and strength until they sink and drown. But could there still be exceptions?
Theories on Devil Fruit Eaters Who Might Swim
While most Devil Fruit users clearly cannot swim, some fans have theorized exceptions who may be able to:
Fishman Karate Users
Fishman karate practitioners utilize the ability of Fishmen to control water. Known users like Jinbe and Koala can manipulate water to attack. Could their fishman karate allow them to swim even after eating a Devil Fruit?
It’s unconfirmed, but possible their techniques could counteract the sea’s power. Fishman karate masters might be able to propel themselves through the water or avoid sinking.
Future Robotic Advances
Cyborgs like Franky raise the possibility that through science, Devil Fruit weaknesses could be overcome. If enough of the body was robotic, it may no longer be affected by seawater. With enough upgrades, Cyborgs could potentially learn to swim again.
Mythical Zoan Models
Some mythical Zoan fruits are based on creatures that can swim, like fish or dragons. While non-canon, Vander Decken had a devil fruit that let him swim as a fishman. Perhaps a future mythical fish or serpent fruit could allow swimming.
Gomu Gomu Awakening
Luffy’s rubber body is already somewhat resistant to electricity due to being insulating. If he awakened his Gomu Gomu fruit, perhaps the rubber would become even more resistant to seawater’s effects. It likely wouldn’t enable swimming but may prevent drowning.
Other Creative Workarounds
With all the possible Devil Fruits out there, one could potentially provide creative workarounds to the seawater weakness. For example, a telekinesis fruit could theoretically move the user’s body through water without direct contact. Or a gas/smoke fruit may avoid the effects through intangibility.
Confirmed Devil Fruit Users Who Can Swim
While creative theories exist, are there any concrete examples of Devil Fruit eaters who actually swim? Surprisingly, there are a few exceptions:
Jack the Drought
Despite being a Devil Fruit user, Jack demonstrated an ability to swim during the Zou arc. After Zunisha blasted Jack away with a giant trunk swing, he reemerged from the ocean swimming days later.
It’s unclear how Jack can swim with his Zoan mammoth powers. One theory is his tremendous endurance and willpower allow him to withstand the sea’s effects long enough to swim. Another is he uses his trunk as a snorkel to avoid full submersion.
Either way, Jack has shown he can survive at sea and swim short distances despite having Devil Fruit abilities.
Vander Decken IX
The former captain of the Flying Pirates, Vander Decken IX ate the Mato Mato fruit, giving him the power to “mark” people and hit them with projectiles. He also showed the ability to swim even after eating his Devil Fruit.
It’s likely that Vander Decken’s powers enable him to swim because his fruit turns him into a fishman. As a fishman, he would retain the ability to swim and breathe underwater like other Fishmen. An exception due to his species’ natural talents.
During the Whole Cake Island arc, Praline demonstrated she could swim even after eating the paramecia Devil Fruit, Jara Jara no Mi. She was seen moving through water and singing as she engaged the Sun Pirates.
Like Vander Decken, it’s probable that Praline can swim due to being half-mermaid. Her mixed physiology seems to circumvent the normal Devil Fruit weaknesses, a very rare exception.
Nearly all Devil Fruit users are subjected to losing their strength and coordination in seawater, causing them to sink. However, a few exceptions exist, usually due to their species’ natural aquatic abilities.
Fishman Karate may allow users like Jinbe to avoid sinking through skill alone. And future cyborg enhancements or creative fruits could lead to workarounds. But currently, only Jack, Vander Decken, and Praline demonstrate actual swimming ability after eating a Devil Fruit.
In the end, Oda rarely breaks the rules he establishes in the One Piece world. And the inability to swim for 99% of Devil Fruit eaters remains one of the great costs for their amazing powers. Only a few lucky exceptions like Praline show that underwater movement is possible, though inaccessible for most.