He Loves Being Under the Sea: Florida Man Sets Life Underwater Record

KEY LARGO, FL: A college professor broke the record for the longest life underwater without depressurization this weekend at a Florida Keys lodge for divers.
Joseph Dituri74th day of residency at Jules’ Underwater Lodgelocated at the bottom of a 30-foot-deep lagoon in Key Largo, was not much different from its previous days since it was submerged on March 1.
Dituri, who also goes by the nickname “Dr. Deep Sea“, ate a high-protein meal of eggs and salmon prepared using a microwave, exercised with resistance bands, did his daily push-ups, and took a one-hour nap. Unlike a submarine, the lodge does not use technology to adapt to increased pressure.
The previous record of 73 days, two hours and 34 minutes was set by two Tennessee professors — Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain – at the same location in 2014.
But Dituri is not content to settle for the record and resurface: he plans to stay at the lodge until June 9, when he will reach 100 days and complete an underwater mission dubbed Project Neptune 100.
The mission combines medical and ocean research as well as educational outreach and was organized by the Marine Resources Development Foundation, which owns the habitat.
“The record is a small bump and I really appreciate it,” said Dituri, a University of South Florida educator with a doctorate in biomedical engineering and a retired U.S. Navy officer. “I’m honored to have him, but we still have more science to do.”
His research includes daily experiments in physiology to monitor how the human body responds to long-term exposure to extreme pressure.
“The idea here is to populate the oceans of the world, to take care of them by living there and treating them really well,” Dituri said.
The outreach portion of Dituri’s mission includes conducting online classes and broadcasting interviews from his digital studio under the sea. In the past 74 days, he has reached over 2,500 students through online classes. online in marine science and more with his regular courses in biomedical engineering at the University of South Florida.
While he says he loves living under the ocean, there’s one thing he really misses.
“The thing I miss the most about being on the surface is literally the sun,” Dituri said. “The sun has been a major factor in my life – I usually go to the gym at five and then come back and watch the sunrise.”


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