Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live underwater for an extended period of time? Well, one Florida professor did more than just wonder. He actually did it.
Dr. Joseph Dituri, a biomedical engineer and a retired U.S. Naval officer, set a new Guinness World Record last month after living underwater for 100 days. He stayed at Jules’ Undersea Lodge, a unique hotel located 30 feet below the surface of a lagoon in Key Largo, Florida.
Dituri, who also goes by “Dr. Deep Sea”, embarked on this ambitious project on March 1, 2023, with the aim of studying how the human body and mind adapt to an isolated, confined and extreme environment. He also wanted to use his experience as an educational opportunity for students around the world.
During his 100-day stay, Dituri conducted daily experiments and measurements to monitor his physical and mental health. He also taught a course at the University of South Florida, where he is an associate professor, and interacted with thousands of school children via online platforms. He even welcomed more than 60 visitors to his underwater home, including his wife and son.
Dituri’s project, called Project Neptune 100, was organized by the Marine Resources Development Foundation, which owns the lodge. The foundation’s mission is to promote ocean conservation and exploration through research and education.
Dituri broke the previous record for the longest time living underwater without depressurization on May 13, when he reached his 74th day. The record was held by two Tennessee professors who spent 73 days at the same lodge in 2014.
On June 9, Dituri finally resurfaced and felt the sun on his face for the first time in over three months. He was greeted by his family, friends, fans and a medical team who checked his condition.
Dituri said he was not motivated by the record itself, but by the scientific and educational benefits of his project. He hopes that his research will help improve the treatment of various diseases and injuries, as well as prepare astronauts for future long-term missions in space.