As of 2014, the world record for a human holding his breath under water is 22 minutes, held by Stig Severinsen of Denmark. This far exceeds the typical time of 30 to 40 seconds that most humans can achieve.
The women's record, as of 2014, was set in 2009 by Brazilian Karoline Meyer, who held her breath for 18 minutes and 32.59 seconds. These world records were set in cases where the person hyperventilated, or took in oxygen prior to submerging to clear out carbon dioxide. The world record for holding breath without the aid of oxygen is 11 minutes and 35 seconds, as of 2014.