Can people live underwater? With the development of Aquarius, this is made possible. Aquarius is one of the few underwater research laboratories in the world that is dedicated solely to science. Aquarius is located 63 feet below sea level just off the coast of the Florida Keys, and was designed to withstand high pressure from the ocean’s depths.
The convenience of living underwater allows scientists to work up to nine hours a day in the ocean, compared to one hour from land. This is possible due to a special diving capability through Aquarius known as saturation diving. When divers research underwater, they are
limited to shorter exploration times because they have a high risk of getting decompression sickness. Decompression sickness is caused by the immense change from high pressure underwater to the lower pressure from land. When pressure is changed so rapidly, dissolved inert gases can form and transfer anywhere throughout one’s body. Depending on the severity of the pressure change and number of decompressions one undergoes, symptoms can vary from joint pain to paralysis or death. Saturation diving reduces the number of decompressions, so scientists have a lessened risk of obtaining decompression sickness and are safe to research underwater for a greater length of time.
Because the 81-ton laboratory is pressurized, scientists can live comfortably in Aquarius, although research missions are typically 10 days long. Aquarius has many amenities, including 6 beds, a shower, toilet, hot water, microwave, refrigerator, air conditioning, and computers with internet access.
For more information on aquarius, check out their website here!