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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Underwater Habitats (SEALAB)

Underwater Habitats (SEALAB)

The SEALABs were experimental undersea habitats where divers could live and work for extended periods while pressurized. These underwater habitats were intended to demonstrate the concept of saturation diving, which holds that once a diver’s body is saturated with his breathing gas mixture, no greater decompression time is required no matter how long the diver remains under pressure. Saturation diving meant that divers’ time on-the-job could be extended indefinitely without paying a comparable penalty in time under decompression, provided the diver was provided with a pressurized place to live when not working.