A Florida scientist who calls himself Dr. Deep Sea has broken the record for the longest time lived underwater.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, US Navy veteran Joe Dituri announced that he had spent 73 days in a habitat under the sea, and he plans to spend a total of 100 days deep below in the name of science.
“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,” Dituri wrote.
“And while breaking the world record is an exciting milestone, my mission doesn’t end here. I have 23 more days undersea to conduct research, engage with learners of all ages, and continue my journey of discovery.”
Dituri aims to return to the surface on June 9, when he will undergo “an in-depth examination by a team of medical doctors to learn more about how the body reacts to such an environment,” he said in another Instagram post.
The biomedical engineer, who is an associate professor at University of South Florida, has been documenting his experience on Instagram and YouTube, sharing his day-to-day existence underwater with viewers.
Dituri has been living in Jules’ Undersea Lodge, a steel and glass habitat 30 feet below the surface of a lagoon in Key Largo, Florida.
The lodge, which normally receives paying guests, sits on legs on the sea bed and is filled with compressed air to prevent it from flooding, according to its website.
“It is the first and only underwater hotel where scuba diving is the only way to get to your room,” the website reads.
According to Guinness World Records, the record for the longest time spent living underwater in a fixed habitat was previously held by two American biologists, Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain, who spent 73 days in the same undersea lodge as Dituri.
The latest project is part of Dituri’s research into how well humans can survive in an isolated, confined environment, according to his website.
In September, Dituri plans to take a flight on a modified airliner on which he will be able to experience zero gravity multiple times.
“It’s all part of his dream to become a civilian astronaut and travel into space by 2026,” Dituri’s website says.