French team spent 28 days inside a capsule exploring sea depths

  • Every day, the steel capsule, which measures one square metre, was lowered from a barge in the water
  • When they were brought back to the surface at the end of every day, their capsule was connected to other pressurized chambers

After 28 days below the sea at a crushing depth of 120 meters, a team of four researchers emerged into the sunshine at the French Mediterranean port of Marseille on Sunday.

The team, led by marine naturalist and underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta, celebrated with family and friends Sunday evening after a three-day period spent in a decompression chamber.

This was not quite Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and the canary-yellow capsule in which they made their descent was not quite a submarine.

But the diving bell that was their home for four weeks allowed them to spend up to eight hours a day at 120 meters (395 feet) below the sea without having to worry about getting the bends when they resurfaced.

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