US Professor breaks the record for longest time living underwater

Located in Key Largo, Florida, Joseph Dituri has successfully completed over 74 days residing at the depths of a 30-foot lagoon.

Underwater photo (photo credit: PEXELS)
Underwater photo
(photo credit: PEXELS)

A US university professor has achieved a groundbreaking feat by surpassing the previous record for the longest duration spent living underwater without the need for depressurization.

Located in Key Largo, Florida, Joseph Dituri has successfully completed over 74 days of residing at the depths of a 30-foot lagoon.

Undeterred by his remarkable accomplishment, Dituri has expressed his intent to continue his underwater venture. 

During a recent statement on Sunday, he announced his ambitious plan to extend his stay at the Jules' Undersea Lodge for a minimum of 100 days, further pushing the boundaries of human endurance beneath the waves.

"The curiosity for discovery has led me here," Dituri said. "My goal from day one has been to inspire generations to come, interview scientists who study life undersea and learn how the human body functions in extreme environments."

Hawksbill Turtle swimming in the Florida Keys (credit: FLICKR)Hawksbill Turtle swimming in the Florida Keys (credit: FLICKR)

In 2014, the record was set by two Tennessee professors, Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain. They accomplished an impressive feat of 73 days, two hours and 34 minutes at the same location in Key Largo.

Dituri, also known as "Dr. Deep Sea," adhered to a disciplined routine during his underwater sojourn. His meals consisted of protein-rich dishes like eggs and salmon, expertly cooked using a microwave. To maintain his fitness, he engaged in exercises utilizing resistance bands and diligently performed his daily pushups. Additionally, he allocated time for a restorative hour-long nap. 

Unlike a submarine, the lodge where he stayed does not rely on technology to regulate the amplified underwater pressure, adding to the unique nature of his experience.

He embarked on his extraordinary expedition on March 1st at Jules' Undersea Lodge, a compact chamber situated at the submerged depths of a lagoon in the captivating Florida Keys. This unique establishment draws its name from the renowned science fiction novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea written by Jules Verne.

Under the banner of "Project Neptune 100," Dituri, hailing from the University of South Florida, aims to delve into the effects of prolonged exposure to extreme pressure on the human body.

Researchers conduct medical tests on his health

As part of their investigation, researchers are conducting a series of medical tests to assess the health and psychological impacts of prolonged isolation and confinement on the 55-year-old subject.

Remarkably, Dituri has seamlessly juggled his responsibilities as an educator despite his underwater residency.

Continuing his role as a professor in biomedical engineering, he diligently conducts his classes online while residing within the lagoon. 

The University of South Florida has acknowledged and supported his commitment to maintaining his professional duties even during this extraordinary undertaking.

Although his groundbreaking underwater stay has been engrossing, Dituri eagerly anticipates resuming activities on dry land. When asked by the Associated Press about his longing for the surface, he candidly expressed his yearning for the sun, highlighting its absence as the aspect he misses the most during his submerged experience.