If you’ve ever dreamed of living underwater, soon you’ll have the opportunity to experience life beneath the sea. In September 2023, DEEP Research launched a mission with the goal of ‘Making Humans Aquatic’ by constructing a permanent human habitat underwater by 2027, known as “Sentinel”. This habitat will serve as a primary window for exploring the seabed and conducting research. Such discoveries on the ocean floor could also contribute to a better understanding of the planet’s carbon cycle and the discovery of new life-saving proteins.
DEEP aims to develop the necessary skills, methods, and tools for omnipresent ocean exploration in the future. The main rationale for this mission according to DEEP Research’s statement is;
Because we believe that the answers to mankind’s biggest problems, will be found in our planet’s most diverse, and inspiring, biosphere.
The chosen location for the main construction of the underwater habitat was a popular dive site frequented by many divers. In fact, several divers have expressed their disagreement because the planned infrastructure will remove a prestigious inland dive site in the UK. The site is located in Tidenham, Gloucestershire, and was managed by the former National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC).
Sentinel, the name given to the subsea habitats, represents the freedom for humans to thrive and live anywhere on the planet. The infrastructure is a modular system composed mainly of blocks that are flexible and customisable according to their purpose and the surrounding environment.
Sentinel is considered the initial step towards achieving the primary goal of enabling humans to live on the ocean floor. However, Sentinel is more than just an underwater building. It involves multiple human developmental changes that promote personal growth, enhanced physical endurance, and improve diving skills. In conjunction with the development of scuba suits, submarine vehicles, and eventually the ocean floor habitats, DEEP aspires to create ‘Aquatic Human’.
DEEP ensures that safety measures are not compromised in pursuit of an underwater human environment. They are working with DNV, a world-leading certification body to become the first marine habitat to acquire a third-party certification.
In conclusion, DEEP Research’s mission to create an underwater human habitat, known as Sentinel, represents a groundbreaking endeavor to explore and live in Earth’s diverse aquatic biosphere. While facing some controversy over its location, this project aims not only to construct an underwater habitat but also to foster human development, advance exploration capabilities, and prioritize safety through third-party certification. It holds the promise of expanding our understanding of the ocean’s secrets and its potential contributions to addressing critical global challenges.
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