Hey all! This is Fabien Cousteau and his team from Mission 31! We will be spending 31 days underwater in the world’s last remaining underwater habitat, the Aquarius in Key Largo, FL. We’re here to reach out to millions of people worldwide to bring attention to the ocean and the connection that humans have with it. He is honoring his grandfather’s legacy by spending 31 days underwater, 1 day longer than his grandfather’s 30 day mission. We’re also conducting a series of experiments to examine the effect that humans can have on the oceans! You can find more information at www.mission-31.com, where you can even watch live streams of activities within the habitat! We have a pretty big team working to make this happen:

Fabien – Mission leader, ocean explorer. Currently 60 feet underwater on Aquarius.

Adam – Florida International University Mission scientist, avid Redditor. Currently 60 feet underwater on Aquarius.

Andy – Florida International University Mission scientist. Currently 60 feet underwater on Aquarius.

Kip – Mission videographer, professional filmmaker. Currently 60 feet underwater on Aquarius.

Mark – Aquarius habitat technician, almost 200 days (not continuous) lived in the Aquarius habitat! Currently 60 feet underwater on Aquarius.

Ryan – Aquarius habitat technician, and enforcer of the schedule. Currently 60 feet underwater on Aquarius.

Grace – MIT Mission scientist, oceanographic engineer. Will switch with Adam/Andy in 14 days!

Liz – Northeastern University Mission scientist, dive safety officer. Will switch with Adam/Andy in 14 days!

Marc – Documentary producer and filmmaker. Will be answering production questions topside!

Toby – Video editing and producing, and coffee specialist. Will also be answering topside!

Feel free to watch the live webcam at the Aquarius habitat at: http://mission-31.com/watch-live/

Fabien is currently Skyping with an elementary school, but will be back to answer questions soon! Team members will be answering where it's appropriate!

So, ask us anything!

UPDATE: Okay guys, we're gonna work a little more here, some of us have to get back into the water! Thanks for all the questions so far, we will try to get to them as we can! Stay tuned with us over the next month as we stay underwater to conduct our experiments and raise ocean awareness!

Comments: 169 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

zen1mada12 karma

I do believe if you send it to the address at the Aquarius Reef Base, they can pot it down to us here! You would be our heroes! Shoot me a PM if you're interested! That would be the best random pizza ever, haha. :)

moontanned5 karma

Adam.. gonna post on the sub first and see if anyone will join in. otherwise I will totally buy you a pizza sometime soon.

zen1mada3 karma

Haha, woooooo! :)

Clob9 karma

Do you guys watch Sealab 2021?

zen1mada11 karma

This is Adam, I watch it all the time, in fact it is currently on my cell phone!

Porkgazam4 karma

How long will your decompression be when you finish your mission?

Andy_Shantz3 karma

17 hours! We slowly bring the pressure back to 1 atmosphere at the rate of 1 foot per 6 minutes until we reach 30 feet, then get progressively slower. After we hit surface pressure we wait an hour and do what's called a bounce dive, we re-pressurize the habitat and swim out.

Mavisinc1 karma

Is there a special chamber just for the people surfacing? Aren't half of you leaving after 2 weeks but Fabien is staying?

zen1mada1 karma

That's indeed the case, but there's no harm in decompressing and then immediately resaturating, as Fabien and the crew will do!

freakydrew3 karma

going to sneak 2 questions and a request - do you think the damage humans have caused to the ocean is too much to be fixed? Fabien, how sad would your grandfather be at the current state of the ocean, if still alive today? request - I am trying to teach my 8 year old daughter about conservation, and the environmental impact her actions will have on the future, will one of you write "Hi Leah in Simcoe Ontario" on a white board and show it on the camera at 5:00 pm est (will blow her mind) keep up the great work, sad that there is only one research station left.

zen1mada5 karma

I am so sorry we missed this! Most of us were out at that time! Would 9 pm be okay? :)

Zenoneplaywow3 karma

Adam, Can you play wow yet? PLAY WOW!

zen1mada4 karma

Might be interesting to try it down here....

radgh3 karma

before it was all "hey guys I'm gonna be late because I'm stuck in the snow"

and now it's all "hey guys I'm gonna be late because I'm stuck underwater"

zen1mada5 karma

You wouldn't even want me playing with my ping here, haha. Though... Still better than Comcast.

jsantanna2 karma

Thank you for this AMA - it is fascinating!

It looks like you will be answering questions here on this AMA over the course of the mission - is that correct?

All the news about marine trash and pollution is highly disturbing.

--How much litter do you see in your location, a federally protected sanctuary?

--Where are the worst places for marine trash? The best? How do US waters compare to other places?

--What do you believe is the most effective way to reduce marine trash & litter?

I'm sharing this AMA link with/r/oceans!

EDITS: I can't bullet :-/

zen1mada1 karma

Hey man, Fabien has been pretty busy, but I can answer at least one of those questions! The federally protected area is cleaner than most! However there is still fishing line that drifts in, nets, garbage, etc. The oceans are all connected and currents flow everywhere, taking their trash with it. :-/ Short term, what will help a lot is to educate people about how to properly dispose of trash, and to help keep the beaches clean!

Sleestaks2 karma

Whats the temperature down there? Have you noticed an impact on your sleep patterns?

zen1mada1 karma

Not as of yet! However we're wearing sleep watches for a study to see how that may change!

groznij1 karma

What research do you do there that cannot be done on land?

zen1mada2 karma

The ability to stay underwater for 6-8 hours a day is something that cannot be done from SCUBA. Tack on the fact that we don't have to worry about surface weather and boats and travel.... Means we can do six months of field work in a week!

mjshark1 karma

Andy and Adam I wish you guys the best. So my question goes to you two as a marine bio major panther! How is this mission going to impact your future studies?

zen1mada2 karma

Hopefully spark off a few more! Lots of ideas now that this place is run by FIU! You should get involved! :D

freakydrew1 karma

been watching the live feed and checking out the entire M31 site, which is great. is there any security there or could some random diver knock on the window?

zen1mada1 karma

It's actually a federally protected sanctuary. Anyone caught here faces biiiig fines. It's really more for their own safety than anything, so it is taken very seriously!

StuartHardwick1 karma

How much time do you spend feeding raman to the angelfish? My wife spent time in the other lab there at the Underwater Resource Foundation and said they angel fish hung around like puppies.

zen1mada1 karma

Here it's the chubs that hang out everywhere! We don't actively feed anything though, as it is a federal sanctuary!

No-Mr-No-Here1 karma

How are the Nokia Lumia's performing there? I remember Nokia hyping up their phones for mission 31

zen1mada1 karma

Really well! I genuinely enjoy this phone, and the camera is pretty awesome! :D

Alou1801 karma

What will be the first thing you guys do after 31 days underwater?

zen1mada3 karma

That's an easy one. I'm grabbing a beer and a hamburger!

LordDiglett1 karma

Have you guys encountered the Bizzaro versions of yourselves?

zen1mada5 karma

Maybe we -are- the bizarro versions...

dripdroponmytiptop1 karma

hey!! I'm watching your stream, live!! If you can read this, give a wave! Is that you at the computer?

Thanks for the awesome webcams, they're the best. What's the creepiest/strangest/most unexpected animal you've seen down there?

zen1mada1 karma

This is Adam, thanks for watching, I waved! Fabien as at the table answering Skype calls with some schools at the moment!

TheTremendousToaster1 karma

How silent is it at 60 ft underwater? If you are alone 60 ft underwater, do you still hear ambient water noise, or is it completely silent?

zen1mada1 karma

It's actually really loud down here! There's all sorts of clicks and bangs from mantis shrimp and parrotfish bites, etc.

Kurtikus1 karma

As I am interested in many science-related things, what kind of research are you doing, and what do you hope to gain from this research?

zen1mada1 karma

Hey Kurtikus, coming from my phone here so I don't wish to type it all out, but my blog (www.zen1for31.weebly.com) has a big post on our research interests! Lemme know if you have any questions!

rhamm19971 karma

Hi thanks for the AMA. I was wondering is there any sickness or nausea when you go down (and vise versa)?

zen1mada2 karma

Haven't noticed any so far! Though it does rock back and forth a little, it is pretty secured to the bottom!

spindrifthurricane1 karma

Does Aquarius amplify knuckle cracking while submerged?

zen1mada2 karma

I haven't collected data on this, but anecdotally, can confirm.

themineboss1 karma

waives to the lot of you Hello everyone! General concensus on board, what is the food like?

zen1mada2 karma

waves to you I think it's actually pretty good! Some things freeze dry better than others though... I wouldn't recommend the Mexican bean chili!

raye_of_sunshine1 karma

Do any of you feel anxiety/claustrophobia being underwater and how do you deal with it?

zen1mada1 karma

All of us here are very experienced underwater. If we were to get anxiety or claustrophobic, we'd have known by know and probably wouldn't be here. :)