Florida researcher to break world record for living underwater

Joseph Dituri began mission on March 1

Florida Keys (Totajla, Getty Images)

KEY LARGO, Fla. – An underwater researcher is on track to break a world record for the longest time spent living in an underwater habitat.

Retired U.S. Navy commander Joseph Dituri, who holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering and teaches hyperbaric medicine, has been living underwater at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in a Key Largo lagoon.

The facility is 30 feet beneath the lagoon’s surface and was originally fabricated as a marine research laboratory before converting into an underwater hotel in 1986.

Dituri’s 100-day mission began on March 1 and will end on June 9. On Saturday, the 73rd day of his mission, he will officially break the world record, according to a release.

“I’m humbled that my curiosity for discovery has led me here,” Dituri said in a statement. “My goal is to inspire — not only for generations to come — but for scientists around the globe who study life undersea and how the human body functions when in extreme environments.”

The previous record for human subsea habitation at ambient pressure is 73 days, set in 2014 at Jules’ by two Tennessee university educators.

During Project Neptune 100, Dituri will be tested and analyzed to evaluate the effects of living in a confined, extreme environment.

Check out Dituri’s interview with News 6′s Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden on Florida’s Fourth Estate.

You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below:

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.