Here are a few questions we got the other day:
1) Will the Aquarius affect the water environment around it (physically and biologically)?
- The Aquarius Habitat has been down here for long enough to become part of the reef. It is a living, breathing reef that is home to millions of animals. The surface of the habitat has grown over with so many types of animals: corals, sponges, tunicates, and more. It is very neat to know that this "artificial" space is actually helping the surrounding reef thrive.
- We do our very best to ensure that we are disturbing the waters around the habitat as little as possible. Any experimental set up we are finished with is brought back into the habitat and potted back to the surface. I would say that Aquarius does not have any significantly negative impact on the reef, and that in fact its presence has allow Conch Reef to remain as thriving as it is.
2) Has the coral reef been critically damaged in recent 1-2 years?
- The reefs in this area are facing the same serious decline as the rest of the world's reefs. We need to take action now to ensure our coral reefs do not disappear entirely. There haven't been any critical events that have individually harmed Conch Reef (where Aquarius is) in the last 1-2 years.
3) While living underwater, you can see only blue seawater, without other colors. Will this irritate the aquanauts (since they are experiencing prolonged exposure to only the blue spectrum)?
- I haven't had any issues with the blue spectrum. It is always surprising to see photographs with color correction, and realize the lack of reds that we are seeing. Our eyes have adjusted to our current color spectrum and are doing just fine!