**WE REFRESH THE AIR WITH A SCUBA TANK**
Q. Isn't this dangerous?
The biggest danger is something called Pulmonary Barotrauma. That basically means over-expanded lungs. If you take a breath in the room the air you breathe in is compressed (because of the weight of the water above you). If you hold that breath and swim to the surface the air will expand in your lungs and can cause catastrophic damage or death. ALWAYS breathe OUT when ascending. ALWAYS.
(For the record things like snow boarding, mountain biking, sky diving, hockey, football, and driving a car are all dangerous as well. Just because it's dangerous does not always mean it shouldn't be done, it means it should be done with great care and wisdom.)
Q. Aren't you going to get the bends?
Because the room is only about 12' deep you would have to spend more than 5 hours in the room to even begin to have problems. Because of the temperature of the lake I am rather certain you would die of hypothermia first. Even the most conservative dive tables rarely even have a calculation for anything less than 20' deep and of those that do I have NEVER EVER seen a dive table that has a no-decompression limit at 12'.
Q. How did you make this?
A. The ring is made out of super heavy duty galvanized steel pipe that has been cut and welded into an octagon. Gussets where also welded into the inside corners for re-enforcement. Air is regularly refreshed with a SCUBA tank. It is attached to the lake bed with three 1/2" stainless steel airline cables, each one wraps around it's own army tank sized granite rock. The dome is vinyl held in place by a polyester netting which is attached to the ring with 60+ doubled hoops of 550 para-cord.
Q. What would happen if you fart in it?!
A. It would probably smell bad, depending on what you ate.
Q. How much pressure is in the room?!
A. 16.54 psi
34' of fresh water (33' of sea water) = 1 atmosphere (14.7 psi). 14.7 psi is the pressure exerted on your entire body at sea level on earth. The lake bed under the room is about 16' below the surface, the room itself is about 12' below. That means there's only 5.19 more pounds of pressure in the room than at the surface (14.7÷34=.432 & .432x12=5.19). Plus this lake is at high altitude where the atmospheric pressure is actually only 11.35 psi. So 11.35+5.19=16.54psi in the room. That's the pressure your toes would feel standing in 4.13 feet of water at the ocean. It doesn't seem like much but it's enough to cause lung expansion problems upon surfacing (see "Isn't it dangerous?").
Q. What if someone finds it and dies in it?
A. We take it with us when we leave the lake so that's not possible - it's sitting in my garage.
Q. It would be awesome to get high in there!!!
A. Uhhh... that's not a question. My opinion is that you shouldn't do life threatening things while in an altered state of mind.
Q. Is that "The Most Interesting Man In The World" at the end of the video?
A. Yes. He is my dad.
Q. Nice mustache dude!!
A. That is also not a question but thank you anyway. Firehouse mustache wax is responsible for the mustaches in this video.
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Jordan (co-inventor) is camera man for this shot.
Even though the Bubble Room is a DIY project it has taken years of improvements and some pretty heavy brainstorming sessions with some very bright and qualified people, to get it to where it is today. Not only is it dangerous if you aren't acutely aware of the laundry list of risks involved, but the build in general is very heavy duty and well thought out. For example a bubble that size has a lifting force of approx 5,600 pounds! it's one thing when you underestimate a project and it goes wrong in your garage and nobody's lives are involved, it's completely another when the project puts your friend's and family's lives at stake 15 feet underwater. I know it's awesome and I don't blame anybody for wanting one of their very own, but please don't go out and kill yourself attempting to replicate a project with such huge forces and such high risk. If you feel the need for your own Bubble Room bad enough (why wouldn't you?) my brother and I can be commissioned to install a patented private model complete with fresh air pump, backup generator, detachable stainless steel ring, and a heavy duty, crystal-clear, collapsible, vinyl dome. One can be installed during the new construction or retrofitted into almost any private (in-ground) pool.
We were on an episode of National Geographic's "Mad Scientists". NatGeo takes their crew into the Bubble Room at the beginning of our episode. To see more go here: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com...