University of South Florida biomedical engineer Joseph Dituri, 55, is attempting to spend 100 days underwater in a tiny room called Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida. The Lodge used to be a research lab but was relocated from its original location off the coast of Puerto Rico to become a submerged hotel room, 30 feet below the surface, for overnight scuba trips. So why is Dituri using it as an oceanic extended stay suite? From USF:
Before, during and after the project, Dituri will complete a series of psychosocial, psychological and medical tests, including blood panels, ultrasounds and electrocardiograms, as well as stem cell tests.
A psychologist and psychiatrist will also document the mental effects of being in an isolated, confined environment for an extended period – similar to space travel.
"The human body has never been underwater that long, so I will be monitored closely," Dituri said. "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."
Dituri is advancing conclusions found in a study, where cells exposed to increased pressure doubled within five days. This suggests the increased pressure has the potential to allow humans to increase their longevity and prevent diseases associated with aging.
"So, we suspect I am going to come out super-human!" Dituri said.