Man breaks world record after living underwater for 74 days, but misses life on land

A retired US Navy officer has just broken the record for the longest time living underwater and has now set his sights on greatly extending the record.

Dr Joseph Dituri has just clocked up his 74th day at ambient pressure at Jules’ Undersea Lodge, which sits at the bottom of a 30-foot-deep lagoon in Key Largo, Florida, beating the previous best of 73 days, two hours and 34 minutes.

He is determined to remain in his watery bolthole until June 9, which would take him to exactly 100 days.

Dr Dituri entered the underwater two-bedroom hotel (formerly a marine research centre), that sits on the ocean floor, on March 1 in what was dubbed the ‘Neptune 100’ mission, which combines medical and ocean research along with educational outreach.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Today I broke the world record for living underwater. The curiosity for discovery has led me here.

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“My goal from day one has been to inspire generations to come, interview scientists who study life undersea and learn how the human body functions in extreme environments.”

He also said before he entered the facility: “The human body has never been underwater that long, so I will be monitored closely.

”This study will examine every way this journey impacts my body. But my null hypothesis is that there will be improvements to my health due to the increased pressure.”

He has been eating a meal of eggs and salmon, cooked in a microwave, every day, while exercising using resistance bands and doing daily pushups.

The previous record 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,” said Dr Dituri, now a University of South Florida educator. “I’m honoured to have it, but we still have more science to do.”

While in the hotel, he has been teaching USF classes virtually and hosting discussions with visiting scientists on ways to preserve marine environments.

During the last 74 days he has reached more than 2,500 students through online classes in marine science and more with his regular biomedical engineering courses at the USF.

He admitted: ”Even if I only stayed 60 days, but I turned a whole bunch of kids on to exploring the marine environment, that would be a win.”

The Mirror reports that while he says he loves living beneath the ocean, there is one thing Dr Dituri really misses.

“The thing that I miss the most about being on the surface is literally the sun,” he explained.

“The sun has been a major factor in my life – I usually go to the gym at five and then I come back out and watch the sunrise.”

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