Two scientists from Roane State Community College have broken the world record for the longest time anyone has lived under the sea, having spent nearly ten weeks living underwater as of yesterday.
Jessica Fain and Bruce Cantrell spent over two months living underwater off of Key Largo, Florida, at Jules’ Undersea Lodge, the same location where the previous record holder, Richard Presley, stayed for 69 days and 19 minutes back in the summer of 1992 as part of Project Atlantis.
Fain and Cantrell, who both teach biology at Roane State Community College located in northeast Tennessee, started their journey living underwater to better study the underwater habitat and to help students get a first hand look at marine species and life under the sea. Their underwater stay was centered around an online series on YouTube called Classroom Under the Sea, which consisted of a weekly series of educational videos for students and classrooms in middle school and above. The video series covered a range of topics on marine biology as well as conservation and environmental threats that are putting marine life and the oceans of the world in danger. They also featured a number of guests on the show that took the dive underwater to visit the duo during their stay, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The Classroom Under the Sea project was a joint project by Roane State Community College and the Marine Resources Development Foundation, with support from Diversity in Aquatics.
The health and stability of the world’s oceans is of utmost concern to scientists and conservationists around the world because all life on Earth depends on healthy oceans for survival. The oceans provide the majority of the oxygen for the planet, help to absorb UV rays, regulate global weather conditions, and is a major source of food for people all over the planet. The oceans are also a source of vital nutrients, supplements, and other medicines that are being researched on an ongoing basis. Slaughter of marine mammals and sharks, mercury contamination from coal and other sources, agricultural run off and pesticides, plastic garbage, global warming, oil spills, and other pollution all threaten our seas. The Classroom Under the Sea project will hopefully not only give people a glimpse at what living underwater might be like, but can also give a much richer understanding to students and raise more awareness about the vital issues that are threatening the ocean and its inhabitants.
Jessica Fain and Bruce Cantrell began living underwater on October 3 and will return to dry land in Key Largo on Monday, December 15, which will mark a total of 73 days spent living underwater and the pair are looking forward to returning to fresh air once again.
“I think we’ll be happy to see the sky and sun again,” Cantrell said.
The undersea lodge is located beneath 25 feet of water and is equipped with a common area and two individual guest rooms with current rates around $695 per person for a one night stay. Think you could try your hand at living underwater? Then check out Jules’ Lodge and get to know sea life like never before.
[Image: Press Room VIP]