There are few frontiers left on earth where humans have not left their mark. From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, humankind has always sought to conquer the most formidable of places. Australia has its fair share of courageous water explorers—from solo-sailors like Kay Cottee AO to long distance swimmers and intrepid adventurers. As part of National Science Week the Australian National Maritime Museum is excited to be hosting one such adventurer: scientist and explorer Lloyd Godson.
Like something out of a Jules Verne novel, Lloyd has been involved in numerous projects that have seen him live underwater in self-sufficient ‘habitats’. Demonstrating humans’ ability to adapt and survive in the most inhospitable of places, Lloyd has made a career out of exploring the world below the surface.
Starting off his underwater career as the recipient of the Australian Geographic ‘Wildest Adventure Competition’, Lloyd developed his BioSUB project which involved building a steel habitat which was then submerged in a freshwater lake near Albury NSW in 2007. Battling constantly rising C02 levels, high blood pressure and a physiologically straining environment, he managed to live underwater for 12 days. Following this, Lloyd threw himself into a slew of underwater adventures that took him to all parts of the globe from Antarctica to the Greek Islands and even LEGOLAND in Germany.
Now Lloyd’s attention has turned to the museum where, as part of National Science Week, he has parked a 3.7 metre tall yellow ‘habitat’. Resembling something from a sci-fi movie, this pod is a prototype for a habitat that Lloyd plans to live in for a few weeks. Designed in Denmark by Anne Romme and N55, this to-scale pod was built by the staff and students at Newman Senior Technical College in Port Macquarie and painted and grit blasted by Birdon Marine.
From Monday 17 to Sunday 23 August, Lloyd will be hanging out at his habitat where the public can come and meet this aquanaut and chat to him about what it’s like to live underwater and how unordinary a career in science can be.
On the Thursday 20 August, Lloyd will join other people working towards a different sort of survival — survival of our marine worlds. This free event Be an Underwater Hero is a night of group ‘speed-discussions’ with Lloyd, model, environmental scientist and eco warrior Laura Wells, marine scientist and senior lecturer at UNSW Dr Adriana Vergés and MC Grace Liley, State Co-coordinator for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. This event is open to the public and is a great opportunity to start a conversation with some inspiring people making a difference to our marine environments.
As part of National Science Week the museum will also be showcasing sessions on how to build a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) with diver and ROV expert Neill Wainwright and then testing out these underwater robots on a specifically designed obstacle course.
These Inspiring Australia initiatives are supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week.