Florida man breaks record for longest time living underwater
A Florida university professor has broken the world record for the longest time living underwater, and he’s not ending his subaquatic lifestyle just yet, he tweeted.
Saturday was Joseph Dituri’s 74th day living at Jules’ Undersea Lodge. The previous world record, set by two other professors in 2014, was 73 days. Dituri plans to make it to 100 days underwater.
“The curiosity for discovery has led me here,” he tweeted early on Sunday. “My goal from day 1 has been to inspire generations to come, interview scientists who study life undersea and learn how the human body functions in extreme environments.”
Jules’ Undersea Lodge is located at the bottom of a 30-foot lagoon in Key Largo, Florida. During his stay, Dituri has been studying how the human body reacts to living under extreme pressure for long periods of time. And he’s not just learning about himself — he’s also still teaching his biomedical engineering class online, according to the University of South Florida (USF.)
Dituri’s underwater mission, dubbed Project Neptune 100, was organized by the Marine Resources Development Foundation. The project uses the uniqueness of the study’s location to bring awareness to marine research and conservation efforts, according to the foundation. The project also studies the impact of compression on the body.
Dituri, who served in the Navy for nearly three decades and left to learn more about traumatic brain injuries, has hypothesized that his health will improve because of the increased pressure underwater.
A medical team is doing routine dives to Jules’ Undersea Lodge to run tests on Dituri, according to USF. Dituri has completed a series of psychosocial, psychological and medical tests, including blood panels, ultrasounds and electrocardiograms, as well as stem cell tests. A psychologist and psychiatrist are also documenting the mental impacts of living in an isolated and confined environment for a lengthy period of time.
The professor plans to resurface on June 9. Until then, he’s keeping busy. Dituri wakes up at 5 a.m. each day to exercise, according to Florida Keys News Bureau. His protein-heavy meals underwater feature eggs and salmon. He has access to a microwave.
Dituri hasn’t been completely alone underwater. More than 30 adults and 15 middle and high school students have spent time at the undersea lodge in the last 74 days, according to Florida Keys News Bureau.
While Dituri has loved living under the ocean, there’s one thing in particular he’s missed.
“The thing that I miss the most about being on the surface is literally the sun,” Dituri told Florida Keys News Bureau.