That suit you see above, it is epic. No other word to describe it. It looks like a mini version of the machines in Pacific Rim for god’s sake! You wear it and suddenly you are bestowed with the power to explore the depths of the seas, to a maximum of 1000 feet.
Looks like a scene from Pacific Rim, eh?
It was made by Vancouver’s Nuyto Research Pvt.Ltd for the sake of ocean exploration. More specifically to research unknown creatures in the endless abyss that is the ocean. At the depths where it can go, the pressure around you is over 30 times the pressure you experience on land. Come out of the suit even for a second in those kinds of pressure and you will be crushed. Like a puny mosquito. It weighs about 530 pounds, is about 6.5 feet tall (So anyone can use it, unless they are insanely tall), is made out of an alumnium alloy and has 50 hours of oxygen support ( For, you know, so that you can actually breathe there).
At those kinds of depths, there won’t be much light, so it also has some powerful LED lights for illuminating the depths of the abyss.
Now, you are thinking,” it weighs 530 freakin pounds, I won’t be able to move!” . The weight of the suit is completely neutralized when it is submerged, so YES, you would be able to move around.
Now, you are jumping up and down with excitement, waiting to plop down that purse and get the damn suit! But calm down, the suit is worth $600,000. So, yeah, unless you are insanely rich, you won’t be able to afford it. If you are able to buy one, maybe you can gift me one too, eh?
Although you can just as well swim using your limbs, it has 4 foot controlled 1.6 Horsepower thrusters, with foot pads to help you move around, fast and precise. It also has got 18 rotary joints, so you can move precisely and bend your joints.
So precise, that you can pick up and use syringes and scalpels.
John Sparks ( Why does that sound like Tony Stark to me?), the AMNH Ichthyology curator chief says:
“Just going down in the submarines for those few [research and testing] trips gave me a bunch of ideas and we saw creatures that we could study and extract their proteins for use in biomedical work and the first thing I thought was it’d be neat to have this suit and have eyes on them then just seeing them on a TV screen from an ROV with that limited ability to interact with that it just didn’t give you the same understanding of the physiology. You’re actually in the environment. [In the Exosuit], you’re there and immersed almost like one of the other organisms.”
You can always communicate with the ship, even when you are underwater ( May prove useful if you see some Kaiju!)
The suit is built upon 35 years of research (!). It was completed in 2012 and has had some use in the commercial sector.
But it’s first real underwater expedition will happen this summer, in a stretch of ocean ( Called “The Canyons”) that is about 100 miles from Massachusetts .
The suit’s main mission would be to find more species of bio-luminescent fish as scientists are convinced that there are much more species of such fish than the 180 species that are currently known.
Stark, sorry, Sparks says:
“What we want to be able to do is get down deeper and see these animals alive. So currently on this expedition we could bring them up in a trawl, which is pulling a deep net from behind the boat, but what tends to happen is the fish get crushed and mangled and very few come up alive which doesn’t allow us to observe their flashing patterns, so what we’re left with is just basing these inferences on anatomy, what they look like, but we really need the flashing patterns to go along with that, and that would give us the evidence to go a-ha!, they ARE communicating, if we could get an image or a video of unique flashing patterns for these different species then we know they’re using this light to communicate with each other.”
All communications will take place to a high speed Fibre-optic link.
Now, why go through all this trouble to explore? Well, these bio-luminescent creatures that these scientists are so intent on finding, has a protein that is similar to the one in the human brain. If we find out more about it, we may find out more about aging, which may prove to be the key to defeating Alzheimers and may also prove helpful in cancer detection and potentially other stuff.
Also, the ocean is something that mankind still hasn’t explored greatly. Although we have sent probes to the corners of the solar system, we still haven’t seen what lies deep in the abyss that is the ocean.
Though we don’t see it happening now, in the not-so-distant future, these suits may become mainstream and we may even see tourists wearing these and behold the beauty that is the ocean or Oceanus, the Titan of Oceans, in Greek lore.
The organisms that lie beneath, on the bottom layers of the ocean, may hold the key to unlocking the complex piece of machinery that is the human body.
As we explore the ocean and unlock it’s secrets, we may be one step closer to unlocking ourselves..