A biomedical engineering professor from Lindenhurst has broken the broken world record for the longest stretch of time spent living underwater.
Currently residing in a 100-square-foot, under-the-sea bunker located in a lagoon in Key Largo, Florida, Joseph Dituri, 55, earlier this month surpassed the previous record of 73 days, set back in 2014 by two Tennessee educators. The University of South Florida professor will continue residing 30 feet below the water’s surface for another 10 days, with his heart set on reaching 100 days.
Expressing his enthusiasm on his @DrDeeSea Instagram account, the aquanaut wrote, “I’m humbled that my curiosity for discovery has led me here. My goal from day 1 has been 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.
“And while breaking the world record is an exciting milestone, my mission doesn’t end here,” he continued. “I have 23 more days undersea to conduct research, engage with learners of all ages, and continue my journey of discovery.
Despite already clinching the world record, Dituri has set a personal goal to remain submerged until Day 100, which falls on Friday, June 9. His underwater stay is part of an ambitious research project aimed at investigating how the human body responds to living under extreme pressure.
Dituri’s background includes 28 years of service in the U.S. Navy as a saturation diving officer before venturing into academia. In 2012, he embarked on a Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering at the University of South Florida, driven by his desire to contribute to the well-being of individuals suffering from traumatic brain injuries.
Dituri’s living quarters for the last couple of months amount to the size of two king-sized beds. The unique living space comprises a sleeping area, a living room, and a small kitchen complete with a coffee machine and microwave.
Top photo: Instagram