Initially, the 55-year-old had already surpassed the previous record by completing 75 days in the lodge, but he decided to extend his stay to 100 days in order to conduct further scientific studies on the effects of high atmospheric pressure on the human body over an extended period of time. Dr. Dituri was nicknamed Dr. Deep Sea as he planned to achieve great results underwater.
Organized by the Marine Resources Development Foundation, Dr. Deep Sea’s project began in February with the primary objective of breaking the world record, but it also had a strong focus on analyzing the human body’s tolerance to pressure in a confined depressurized space. Unlike a submarine, the internal lodge pressure was made purposely to match the exterior water pressure. The underlying hypothesis was that a high-pressure environment could potentially mitigate age-related illness and increase life expectancy. Additionally, Dr. Dituri explored the possibility that pressure could aid in the recovery of patients with brain injuries and traumas. Moreover, the chosen location for the project served as a platform to educate the public about human physiology and the importance of protecting and preserving our oceans.
One notable physiological change observed in Dr. Deep Sea during his underwater stay was a slight decrease in his height, approximately half an inch, which can be attributed to the compressive nature of the high-pressure environment. This phenomenon is similar to astronauts experiencing temporary height increases after spending time in zero gravity. Prior to the descent, Dr. Dituri experienced 40% of his sleep in REM (rapid-eye movement) phase. However, the tests conducted during the underwater stay showed an increase in REM sleep, reaching 60% of the night. REM sleep is characterized by an increased heart rate and breathing as the cerebrum recalls memories, both forgotten and social-emotional ones. Interestingly, it was pointed out that his cholesterol levels remained relatively low throughout his time in the lodge. A detailed presentation of his findings will be made at the World Extreme Medical Conference this November, in Scotland.
The Neptune 100 project allowed for the longest exposure to higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure ever experienced by humans. Dr. Joseph Dituri aims to inspire the younger generation to push boundaries, take risks, and explore new frontiers in order to increase their chances of making groundbreaking discoveries. Throughout his 14-week stay at the underwater lodge, Dr. Deep Sea interacted with more than 5,500 multinational students, during 124 online correspondences. Apart from the virtual world, he also welcomed more than 60 guests during his stay simultaneously while interacting online with the rest of the world. Dr. Dituri’s achievement will be presented to the World Guinness Book of Records, to certify the accomplishment of living underwater for 100 days.
Dr. Joe Dituri is a passionate professional in the fields of diving and undersea exploration. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Kennedy-Western University and a Master’s degree in Astronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Dr. Dituri has an extensive background in both military and commercial diving. He served as a US Navy Diver for over 25 years, during which he participated in numerous underwater operations and held various leadership roles. He is also a certified saturation diver and rebreather instructor.
In addition to his impressive military career, Dr. Dituri has made significant contributions to the field of diving through research, education, and innovation. He has authored several publications on diving safety and equipment and contributed to the development of new diving technologies.
As an advocate for diving safety and education, Dr. Dituri is actively involved in various organizations, such as the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) and the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI). His dedication to advancing the field of diving and undersea exploration has earned him recognition and respect within the industry.
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