The American Museum of Natural History is displaying the "Exosuit", a next-generation atmospheric diving system capable of taking a diver down 1,000 feet at surface pressure.

1,000 feet down is 30X the surface pressure. That's...scary. Give me a submarine instead and I will just wave at the fish.

The Exosuit is 6.5 feet tall, weighs 530 pounds, and is hard metal, but it still gives divers the maneuverability to sample or image marine life. It is the only one in existence, and on display at AMNH courtesy of J.F. White Contracting Company in Framingham, Massachusetts.

The Exosuit. Credit: AMNH

Its first big live test will happen this summer off the coast of New England, when a team led by project coordinator Michael Lombardi, the Museum’s dive safety officer, and chief scientist Vincent Pieribone of Yale University will use the Exosuit to investigate an area called “The Canyons.”

This underwater geographic region marks a precipitous drop from the continental shelf to depths of more than 10,000 feet. The Exosuit will allow the science team to conduct studies at depths up to 1,000 feet in the mid-water, or mesopelagic, zone.

Many animals, including those that bioluminesce—that is, generate visible light through a chemical reaction—migrate vertically through this zone at night as they move from the abyss to shallower waters. Previously, these organisms have primarily been studied after coming up in trawl nets or via remote instruments.

See it today until March 5th.