A man from Florida has broken the record for the longest time spent living underwater

Tropical blue ocean with white sand and stones underwater — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Wonderful Nature

A Florida university professor has smashed the world record for the longest period of time spent underwater, and he’s not done yet, he tweeted. 

On Saturday, Joseph Dituri celebrated his 74th day at Jules’ Undersea Lodge. The previous world record, set in 2014 by two other academics, was 73 days. Dituri intends to stay underwater for 100 days. 

“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 in Key Largo, Florida, at the bottom of a 30-foot lagoon. Dituri has been studying how the human body reacts to living under tremendous pressure for extended periods of time during his stay. According to the University of South Florida (USF), he’s not only learning about himself, but he’s also continuing to teach his biomedical engineering class online.

The Marine Resources Development Foundation organized Dituri’s undersea mission, titled Project Neptune 100. According to the organization, the project exploits the study’s unique location to raise awareness about marine research and conservation activities. The initiative also investigates the effects of compression on the human body.

Dituri, who served in the Navy for nearly three decades before leaving to study traumatic brain injuries, believes that the increased pressure underwater will benefit his health.

According to USF, a medical team is diving to Jules’ Undersea Lodge on a regular basis to conduct testing on Dituri. Dituri has undergone a battery of emotional, psychological, and medical examinations, including blood tests, ultrasounds, electrocardiograms, and stem cell studies. A psychologist and psychiatrist are also documenting the psychological effects of living in a limited and isolated environment for an extended period of time.

The professor intends to reappear on June 9. He’s keeping himself busy until then. According to the Florida Keys News Bureau, Dituri gets up at 5 a.m. every day to exercise. His protein-rich underwater meals include eggs and fish as he has the use of a microwave. 

Underwater, Dituri hasn’t been wholly alone. According to the Florida Keys News Bureau, more than 30 adults and 15 middle and high school kids have visited the undersea lodge in the last 74 days.

While Dituri has enjoyed life beneath the waves, there is one thing he has missed. 

“The thing that I miss the most about being on the surface is literally the sun,” Dituri told Florida Keys News Bureau.

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