A Florida professor has broken the world record for the longest underwater stay. Dr. Joseph Dituri, a researcher and associate professor at the University of South Florida, has been living in a specially designed-underwater habitat for 80 days and counting.
Dituri’s mission, dubbed “Project Neptune 100,” is to study the effects of long-term isolation on the human body. He is also conducting research on the effects of microgravity on the human body.
Dituri’s habitat is located in a lagoon off the coast of Florida. It is a 100-square-foot steel structure that is 30 feet below the surface of the water. The habitat is equipped with everything Dituri needs to survive, including food, water, and a bed.
Dituri has been living in the habitat since May 16, 2023. He has been conducting experiments and collecting data on his health and well-being. He has also been communicating with the outside world through a video link.
He says that a large part of his mission stems from his interest in understanding the human body’s capacity to survive in an isolated, confined, and extreme environment.
“Every single astronaut that comes off the International Space Station has to be carried off it after (they’ve been there for) six months,” he points out.
Those questions, Dituri says, beg for answers that NASA continues to research on how extended durations in space will affect the human body.
Dituri says his mission also aims to energize future generations.
“We get to energize kids and talk to them about science, technology, engineering and math,” he says of the attention on his mission. “Kids are the future of what we’re doing. We need you guys to help solve the problems. We need you guys to add diversity of thought.”
Dituri’s mission is expected to last for 100 days. He is currently on day 80 of his stay. He is expected to break the previous world record of 73 days on May 29, 2023.
Dr Joseph Dituri is conducting research, both medical and oceanic, during his record-breaking stay under the sea in Florida.
When asked what he misses the most beneath the waves, the doctor replied: "The sun".
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 15, 2023