Marine Explorers are building the largest underwater habitat

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News: Marine explorers are planning to design and build the world’s largest underwater research station. Something like the International Space Station but underwater.

A group called the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center is spearheading this project. The underwater research station will be called Proteus and will be located 60 feet underwater in a marine protected area off the coast of Curaçao, an island in the Caribbean Sea. It will be the largest underwater habitat and will take three years to complete.

What will it look like? The designs shows a two-story structure that rises from the ocean floor on five legs. There station will have labs, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, a kitchen and a medical centre. It will have a greenhouse for growing food. Proteus will also include a video production facility that is capable of broadcasting from the ocean in 16K resolution! Isn’t that cool! The station will be connected to the surface through an lifeline that transport breathable air and communications. The entire station will powered by renewable energy! 

Credit: Courtesy Proteus/Yves Béhar/Fuseproject

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Why is this underwater important? Humans weren’t made to live underwater. They use techniques such s scuba diving to explore the ocean. But such efforts are time bound. Living underwater in a pressurised environment, rather than just diving in, will now allow scientists to spend far more time in the water and only decompress at the end of their assignment. Their research can also happen a lot faster if they don’t have to keep going up and down through the ocean.

Is this the first underwater habitat? There have been some short-lived underwater research stations but most have been the size of a mini van and designed for a specific mission. Proteus would be four times larger than any other and will house upto 12 people who will be able to live underwater for weeks and even months at a time. 

Why do humans want to explore the ocean?  A vast majority of the ocean remains unexplored. Humans have only explored about 5 percent and mapped less than 20 percent of them. The Proteus station will be open to researchers from across the world. They will come and have a chance to discover new species of marine life and develop a better understanding of how climate change affects the ocean. Research in the ocean may help with derive new medicines and sustainable sources of food.

Conclusion:  Scientists from all over the world will have a chance to live and work in the submerged structure! If successful, Proteus will bring them closer than ever to the water’s secrets.

Credit: Courtesy Proteus/Yves Béhar/Fuseproject