A University of Florida professor has broken the world record for longest life underwater, and he’s not stopping his underwater lifestyle just yet. tweeted.
Saturday was Joseph Ditura’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 up to 100 days underwater.
“Curiosity about discovery led me here,” he tweeted early Sunday. “My goal from day one was to inspire future generations, interview scientists who study underwater life, 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 tenure, Dituri studied how the human body responds to living under extreme pressure for extended 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.)
Dubbed Project Neptune 100, Dituri’s underwater mission was organized by the Marine Resources Development Foundation. The project uses the uniqueness of the research location to bring attention to marine research and conservation efforts, the foundation said. The project also studies the effects of compression on the body.
Dituri, who served in the Navy for nearly three decades and left to learn more about brain injuries, suggested his health would improve because of the increased pressure underwater.
According to USF, the medical team is making routine dives into Jules’ underwater lodge to conduct tests on Dituri. Dituri completed a series of psychosocial, psychological and medical tests, including blood panels, ultrasounds and electrocardiograms, and stem cell tests. A psychologist and psychiatrist also document the mental impact of living in an isolated and confined environment for long periods of time.
The professor plans to surface on June 9, but he’s busy in the meantime. Dituri wakes up every day at 5 a.m. to exercise, according to the Florida Keys News Bureau. His protein-rich underwater dishes include eggs and salmon. It has access to a microwave.
Dituri was not alone underwater. More than 30 adults and 15 middle and high school students have spent time in the underwater house in the past 74 days, according to the Florida Keys News Bureau.
Although Ditura enjoyed living under the ocean, there was one thing in particular he was missing.
“The thing I miss most about being on the surface is literally the sun,” Dituri told the Florida Keys news office.