In an extraordinary feat that blends engineering ingenuity with sheer audacity, a group of intrepid car enthusiasts in Australia achieved an automotive milestone that defies conventional expectations. On July 29th, a vintage 1978 Toyota LandCruiser embarked on an astonishing underwater journey, traversing a staggering distance of seven kilometers beneath the ocean’s surface. This remarkable achievement now holds the world record for the longest underwater drive.
The daring endeavor took place off the coast of northern Australia, at Mandorah Beach, where a crowd of eager onlookers gathered to witness history in the making. The rusted relic of a LandCruiser, affectionately named the “Mud Crab” by its creators, had been meticulously transformed into an insulated electric vehicle capable of navigating underwater depths. The transformation was a labor of passion by a group of friends, including skilled mechanical engineers and experienced divers.
The conversion process involved not only adapting the LandCruiser’s powertrain to an electric setup but also fortifying it against the challenges of underwater travel. Components were insulated with silicone oil to prevent water intrusion, ensuring the safety of internal mechanisms even in the aquatic environment.
To tackle the ocean’s depths effectively, the Mud Crab was equipped with specially designed Maxxis Trepador tires filled with water to counteract buoyancy, enabling stable movement on the sandy ocean floor. However, as with any pioneering endeavor, setbacks were encountered. The car became stuck multiple times during the journey, and the extreme pressure at such depths necessitated frequent driver changes, as each stint at the wheel could last only about 15 minutes.
As the day turned into night, the Mud Crab persevered through challenges that ranged from traversing a gas pipeline to navigating the unpredictable ocean terrain. Eventually, after a grueling 12-hour journey, the LandCruiser emerged triumphant from the waters of Darwin Harbour to the cheers of enthusiastic spectators. This feat of automotive courage, achieved through a combination of innovation, determination, and an unwavering desire to push boundaries, is a testament to human curiosity and the relentless pursuit of what was once thought impossible.
While the team behind the Mud Crab may not be seeking official recognition from Guinness World Records due to the costs involved, their seven-kilometer underwater odyssey has secured its place in history as a groundbreaking achievement. The story of the vintage LandCruiser that defied expectations and took to the ocean’s depths serves as a shining example of human innovation and the power of collective determination.