A University of Florida professor has broken the world record for the longest time underwater, and he’s not ending his subaquatic lifestyle yet, he tweeted.
Saturday was Joseph Dituri’s 74th day at Jules’ Undersea Lodge. The previous world record, set by two other professors in 2014, was 73 days. Dituri plans to keep it underwater for 100 days.
“Curiosity to discover brought me here,” he tweeted early Sunday. “My goal from day one was to inspire the next generation, interview scientists who study life under the sea and learn how the human body works in extreme environments.”
Jules’ Undersea Lodge is located beneath a 30-foot lagoon in Key Largo, Florida. During his position, Dituri studied how the human body responds to living under extreme stress for long periods of time. And he’s not just learning about himself — he’s still teaching his biomedical engineering classes online, according to the University of South Florida (USF).
Frazier Nivens/Florida Keys News Bureau/Handout via REUTERS
Dituri’s underwater mission, known as Project Neptune 100, was organized by the Marine Resources Development Foundation. According to the foundation, the project uses the uniqueness of the research location to bring awareness to marine research and conservation efforts. 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 traumatic brain injuries, hypothesized that the increased pressure underwater would improve his health.
According to USF, a medical team regularly dives at Jules’ Undersea Lodge to conduct tests on Detour. Dituri underwent a series of psychosocial, psychological and medical tests, including a blood panel, ultrasound and electrocardiogram, as well as stem cell tests. A psychologist and psychiatrist is documenting the psychological effects of living in an isolated and restrictive environment for long periods of time.
The professor plans to resurrect on June 9. Until then, he’s keeping busy. Dituri wakes up every day at 5 a.m. to exercise, according to the Florida Keys News Bureau. His protein-heavy diet features underwater eggs and salmon. He has access to a microwave.
Dituri was not completely alone underwater. According to the Florida Keys News Bureau, more than 30 adults and 15 middle and high school students have spent time at the Undersea Lodge over the past 74 days.
Although Dituri loved being under the sea, there was one thing in particular she missed.
“The thing I miss most about being on the surface is literally the sun,” Dituri told the Florida Keys News Bureau.