Florida Professor Attempts to Break World Record for Living Underwater by Staying Under the Sea for 100 Days

Professor Joe Dituri looking out glass from underwater looking at two researchers in dive gear
Facebook/Jules' Undersea Lodge

Professor Joe Dituri hopes his 100-day mission can help researchers find ways to help treat traumatic brain injuries.

A professor at the University of South Florida is on a mission to break the world record for living underwater by staying in a submerged lodge for 100 days.

Professor Joe Dituri, 55, has started his 100-day mission of living 30 feet below the surface in hopes of studying the effect that long-term exposure to the pressure that being underwater can have on the human body, according to a press release from the University of South Florida (USF).

“We suspect I am going to come out super-human!” Dituri said.

Dituri will live in a 100-square-foot habitat at the Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, according to the release. This is where the previous world record was made by two Tennessee professors when they lasted 73 days underwater, the university said. 

While the professor attempts to complete his goal, a variety of tests will be done to see how the time in the water affects his physical and mental health since he will also be in a confined and primarily isolated space, said the university.

“The human body has never been underwater that long, so I will be monitored closely,” Dituri said in the release. “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.”

The college professor is no stranger to the sea. He served 28 years in the U.S. Navy as a saturation diving officer but retired in 2012. After retiring, Dituri started attending USF as a doctoral student studying traumatic brain injuries, said the release. 

Dituri hopes that some of the findings that will come out of his 100-day mission can help treat the traumatic brain injuries that many of his fellow U.S. Navy officers have suffered from as well as many other diseases. 

“Everything we need to survive is here on the planet,” he said. “I suspect the cure to many diseases can be found in undiscovered organisms in the ocean. To find out, we need more researchers.”

Dituri kicked off the mission on March 1 by saying “let's science the 'sh*t' out of this,” on his Facebook page, where he frequently posts video updates.

Related Stories