Reuters Joseph Dituri waves to divers from the underwater cabin
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 19:14
An American biomedical researcher has resurfaced after a 100-day stay in a small underwater hotel at a depth of nine metres. Joseph Dituri, 55, lived underwater off the coast of Florida, in the Key Largo lagoon, to study how the body responds to high air pressure. His ‘hotel room’ measured ten square metres.
Most submarines use a technology to adapt to the increased pressure under water. The underwater cabin Dituri stayed in did not. Inside the capsule, called Jules’ Undersea Lodge, the air pressure is about twice as high as at the surface, due to the pressure of the water on space.
Dituri followed a high protein diet with lots of salmon and eggs that he heated up in a microwave. To stay physically fit, he did exercises with resistance bands and push-ups.
The former naval officer and scientist broke the world record for life under water with his stay a month ago. That was in the name of two professors, who lasted more than 73 days. Nevertheless, Dituri remained on the seabed after achieving his world record. On his Instagram account, he said his mission was not over.
Help with long space travel
The study looked at Dituri’s sleep patterns and psychological health during his underwater stay. This is information that can help, for example, to plan long space travel. The loss of muscle mass due to lack of activity can also be interesting, as can the effects of vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sunlight.
From his underwater hotel, the researcher taught more than 2,500 students at the University of South Florida. He gave lectures on biomedical engineering via a video link. He also received scientists and young people who visited diving.