Deep Discount Habitat - sidebar to featured article on Sublimnos



Scientists. Students. Divers. Thanks to the media the world came to see
Sublimnos. In Canada almost every major news outlet from the Toronto
Star to the CBC came to Tobermory. The international media came too.
National Geographic Society helped fund the Sublimnos project and their
magazine covered the story as well.
“David Doubilet is notably one of the most famous National Geographic
photographers and a mentor to photographers today,” said film producer
Diana Woods. “One of his first photography assignments was Sublimnos
in Tobermory in 1969!”
Probably the most definitive U.S. article on Sublimnos appeared in Popular
Mechanics Magazine (PMM) in April 1971. Back then PMM was ‘the’ voice
of innovation and invention for Americans. At the time its readership was
over 6.6 million, so the MacInnis Sublimnos Project gained high profile
throughout the English-speaking world.
Entitled Bargain Basement Habitat, the story was written by Douglas
Hicks and informed readers how Dr. MacInnis’ project was something that
students and dive clubs could replicate for $2,000.00. In talking about the
project, the PMM article noted that Sublimnos:
• … “is a made up word taken from the root word limnology, meaning the
study of the physical meteorological and biological conditions of fresh
water.”• … “builders decided to modify the carrier (which was built of threequarter
inch/2cm steel) and then spray the inside with two inches (5cm)
of foam plastic for insulation. Sparse furnishings were added and the
structure was joined to its bottom half, which is nothing but a steel cylinder
filled with 10 tons of iron ore ballast”
• … “had light streaming in from the transparent dome and the four
windows. In front of two of the windows were fold-down tables. Scattered
around the walls were hooks for gear. Half way up the wall was a little lamp
on a drooping gooseneck. The humidity was so high … I could see a fine
mist in the air.”
• …“ thermometer on the wall reported the inside temperature at 68°F
(20ºC), fairly comfortable even in a wet suit. I asked the water temperature.
It’s 63°F (17ºC).” (There was a heater inside that was used in the winter.)
The Popular Mechanics article is available on line at
The March 23, 1971 CBC Telescope feature on the project can be seen at:
ht tp : / / a rchiv e s.cbc.c a / s cienc e_t e chnology / na tur al_s cienc e /
DIVER Magazine is grateful to Parks Canada, Diane Woods of AquaCULTURE
Pictures, Inc., Doug Elsey and Aaron Szimanski for the use of photographs


Kelly said…
Thanks for your post in this topic. That would be very good read to me. Thanks for the article in this post. Keep blogging.


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