This Professor Has Broken The Record For The Longest Time Spent Underwater

Over the weekend, a university professor in the United States achieved a groundbreaking feat by breaking the record for the longest duration of living underwater without depressurization. Joseph Dituri, also known as “Dr. Deep Sea,” has been residing in Jules’ Undersea Lodge, located at the bottom of a 9-meter-deep (30-foot) lagoon in Key Largo, since he submerged on March 1.

On his 74th day underwater, Dituri’s routine remained consistent: he consumed a protein-rich meal of eggs and salmon prepared using a microwave, engaged in an exercise with resistance bands, performed his daily pushups, and enjoyed an hour-long nap.

Dituri’s underwater living experience at the lodge differs from being in a submarine since the lodge does not rely on technological adaptations to compensate for the heightened underwater pressure.

The previous record of 73 days, two hours, and 34 minutes was established by two Tennessee professors, Bruce Cantrell, and Jessica Fain, at the same location back in 2014. However, Dituri’s ambition extends beyond simply setting a new record.

His plan is to continue his stay at the lodge until June 9, when he will reach a remarkable milestone of 100 days underwater, marking the completion of an underwater mission called Project Neptune 100.

This mission intertwines medical and oceanic research with educational outreach and has been organized by the Marine Resources Development Foundation, the entity that owns the habitat. As part of his outreach efforts, Dituri conducts online classes and participates in broadcast interviews from his digital studio beneath the sea.

“The record is a small bump and I really appreciate it,” said Dituri, a University of South Florida educator who holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering and is a retired US Navy officer. “I’m honoured to have it, but we still have more science to do.”

His research includes daily experiments in physiology to monitor how the human body responds to long-term exposure to extreme pressure.

“The idea here is to populate the world’s oceans, to take care of them by living in them and really treating them well,” Dituri said.

Throughout the past 74 days, Dituri has reached a staggering number of students, surpassing 2,500, through his online marine science classes and has continued teaching his regular biomedical engineering courses at the University of South Florida.

Despite his love for living beneath the ocean’s surface, there is one thing that Dituri undeniably yearns for during his extraordinary underwater adventure.

“The thing that I miss the most about being on the surface is literally the sun,” Dituri said. “The sun has been a major factor in my life – I usually go to the gym at five and then I come back out and watch the sunrise.”

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