A Florida professor who spent 100 days living underwater at a Florida Keys diver’s lodge resurfaced on Friday and saw the sun for the first time since March 1.
Dr Joseph Dituri, known as Dr Deep Sea, set a new record for longest life underwater without depressurization while staying at Jules’ Undersea Lodge, submerged below 30 feet (9.14 meters) of water in a Key Largo lagoon.
“For 100 days I explored,” Dituri said. “I explored life, the life of the oceans and the life of generations to come.”
Dituri broke the previous mark of 73 days, two hours and 34 minutes set by two Tennessee professors in the same lodge in 2014. At his 74th. day, Guinness World Records listed Dituri as the record holder on its website.
Dituri spent nearly 3 months researching how the human body and mind respond to prolonged exposure to extreme pressure and an isolated environment and was designed to benefit ocean researchers and astronauts on future long-term missions. .
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“It was never about a record,” Dituri said. “It was about extending human tolerance to the underwater world and to an isolated, confined and extreme environment.”
The University of South Florida educator, with a doctorate in biomedical engineering and a retired U.S. Navy officer, conducted daily experiments and measurements to monitor how his body was responding to the increased pressure over time.
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He has also met several thousand students from 12 countries online, taught a USF course, and welcomed more than 60 visitors to the habitat.
“The most rewarding part about this is interacting with nearly 5,000 students and their concern to preserve, protect and rejuvenate our marine environment,” said Dituri.
Dituri documented some of his daily life underwater on Instagram.
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He plans to present the results of the Neptune 100 project at November’s World Extreme Medicine Conference in Scotland.