Fun & Games

Over on BoingBoing Maggie Koerth-Baker interviews Jordan Needham about the underwater fort he and his family built at the bottom of a lake.

The dome is vinyl from the local fabric store. We switched from plastic because the plastic was kind of “cloudy” and the vinyl is optically clear. When The Bubble Room is not in use we take the net and vinyl with us and it is just a metal ring sitting on the lake bed. It takes one person about 15 minutes to attach the net and vinyl and fill it with air.
All the materials except for the vinyl where free!

Inside a Nevada family’s underwater fort

20 thoughts on “DIY Underwater Bubble Room

  1. from the interview:

    “we use a standard scuba tank to fill it, and replenish the air once it gets thin. A standard 68 cu. in. scuba tank will fill it almost twice. There are obvious safety concern with being in a bubble 20 feet down and all the oxygen being used up, so we try and play it safe—buddy system at all times, and when the air starts to get even a little thin we empty most of it and fill ‘er back up with fresh air.”

    1. uh, too dangerous, man. I’m into doing crazy stuff, but..
      Move it closer to shore, and maybe make it bigger and put in a fresh air source (similar to a stove pipe) why take any unnecessary risks. what if a kid goes down there. Its just too dangerous, folks. use it as a catalyst to build bigger better safer.

  2. Breathing compressed air underwater is inherently hazardous. The makers acknowledge as much in the article, but I can easily see this setup making people careless. After a few minutes sitting in the “fort,” someone might forget the physics of the situation, swim out, and instinctively hold his or her breath while swimming to the surface. Of course, trying to replicate this project at a deeper depth would also add the prospect of getting bent.

    Folks, please do not try this.

  3. Phenomenal concept, I must know the maker of his mustache wax- it stays perfectly sharp even after diving! Now THAT’S impressive!

    I very much want someday a clear PVC bubble, 50 ft across or so, sunk to the bottom of a lake and attached to my home underwater via a tunnel. A captain Nemo’s study, if you will.

    If only someone made 50 ft wide, 2-3 inch thick clear PVC bubbles :(

    1. I make my own ‘tash wax and, with a little care, it can survive even a hot shower. It’ll breeze through a dive like that.

      Simply melt about 3-5 parts beeswax to one part vaseline and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil(s). It should be stiff enough to just leave a fingerprint if you press into it quite hard. If it cracks when it cools, it’s too stiff and you should melt a little more vaseline into it.

    2. Hello Logan here, I am the co-creator of the bubble room (along with my brother Jordan).

      The maker of the mustache wax is “Firehouse Mustache Wax” (http://www.firehousemoustachewax.com). If you go to the last page in their galleries there is a picture and a paragraph about Jordan and Dan (Dan is the guy in the video).

      I agree a 50 ft wide bubble room would be amazing… The biggest problem I can see (possibly even a bigger problem than obtaining a dome that big) is that a hemisphere 50 feet across, full of air, underwater would have 2,042,954 pounds of lift (yes 2 million). That’s about 1,021 tons. I’m sure it could be done but the physics and material behind that structure would have to be very intense.

      Also a tunnel to the surface would not work at all unless you had an air lock.

  4. an air compressor pushing air down into the room, could keep the air fresh, but the problem then would be noise and maybe smell. This idea is really fun.

  5. Great article! I have always wanted to get married sky diving and hold the reception underwater! Thanks to this article I am one step closer….now just to find a gal crazy enough to seal the deal with me! cheers!

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I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.

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