Funds Crunch May Shut Down Last Underwater Lab Aquarius [Video]

July 18, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Rarely seen worlds do exist under the sea. We are not talking about Atlantis, but Aquarius. The name stands here as the floating moniker for the last undersea laboratory which is often used by marine biologists to study about coral reef and aquatic fauna and flora.

However, the underwater world is now facing the risk of running out of funds, as government has stopped funding as part of the cost cutting measures.

In Aquarius, you are just another sea organism with fishes moving around you outside the glass doors as your immediate neighbors and the sky always keeps its blue.

Your visibility is always restricted to 60 to 70 feet near the base of this underwater laboratory which is situated on the bottom of the Conch Reef within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The 80-ton steel cylinder which is 43 x 9 feet in its dimensions was first built in 1986 for underwater operations and deployed in Florida Keys in 1992.

Now, in its 20 years of operation here, Aquarius has become a substance for the neighboring coral reef to grow on as well a place which has helped human to understand the hidden secrets of the enigmatic underwater life.

Apart from oceanographers and scientists, filmmakers also stay down in this underwater world to meet the real life under the sea.

Space is restricted in Aquarius which forces the residents to make some dear sacrifices on the belongings they can bring down here from the terrestrial world.

But as government has stopped funding the project as part of cost cutting measures, the lab is facing an uncertain future. If the fund raising attempts which are underway fail, Aquarius, the last of its kind underwater lab, will be shut down forever.

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