Aquanaut Fabien Cousteau and industrial designer Yves Béhar have revealed plans for the world’s largest underwater research station and habitat, Proteus. The 4,000-square-foot facility will sit 60 feet beneath the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Curacao, where scientists and researchers from around the world will study the ocean.
The current design is for a two-story structure on stilts. It will be powered by wind and solar energy and ocean thermal energy conversion. It will also feature the world’s first underwater greenhouse where occupants can grow food.
This underwater version of the International Space Station is intended to be a space in which governments, scientists, and the private sector can collaborate without borders. “Ocean exploration is 1,000 times more important than space exploration for, selfishly, our survival,” says Cousteau. “It is the very reason why we exist in the first place.”
Proteus will allow scientists to closely study the effects of climate change, new marine life and medicinal breakthroughs. It will take three years for the structure to be installed, and the pandemic has already delayed progress. Cousteau envisions one day having similar stations in all of the world’s oceans.