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Scientist Smashes World Record By Living 30ft Underwater For 74 Days



A scientist has smashed the world record for living underwater after spending 74 days living in a habitat 30 feet (9 metres) below a Florida lagoon.

Former naval officer Dr Joseph Dituri is the first person to live that long that far underwater without depressurisation, with plans to remain in Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo until 9 June as part of a 100 day mission tagged Project Neptune. 100.

The mission takes into account educational outreach with medical and ocean research, with scientists keen to see what impact sustained exposure to such pressure will have on the human body.

A hypothesis by scientists is that the increased pressure roughly 1.6-times that of the surface pressure – will lead to improvements in health, while also potentially having an impact on key indicators related to disease and longevity.

“We know for sure that when you’re exposed to about half the pressure that I am right now, you double the number of circulating stem cells,” Dr Dituri told The Independent in April.
“I will have longer telomeres – potentially reversing ageing and I will also gain bone density and muscle when I’m down here.”

Scientists are of the belief that he may lose around an inch in height during the mission due to the pressure exerted on his body in the same way that astronauts grow around 3 per cent taller after spending time in the weightlessness of space.

The university professor, who also goes by the moniker “Dr. Deep Sea,” says he ate a protein-heavy meal of eggs and salmon prepared using a microwave, exercised with resistance bands, did his daily pushups and took an hour-long nap.

Unlike a submarine, the lodge does not use technology to adjust for the increased underwater 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.

“The record is a small bump and I really appreciate it. I’m honoured to have it, but we still have more science to do,” Dr Dituri said.

“The idea here is to populate the world’s oceans, to take care of them by living in them and really treating them well.”

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