As a rule, boats are not supposed to go under the water. Generally, that’s when they become “wrecks.” But it turns out that some boats can, in fact, be engineered to take you on an underwater ride, like, for example, the Platypus, a catamaran that can swing you beneath the waves.
Not Quite Bird, Not Quite A Mammal
Here’s how it works: On the sea, the Platypus is much like your typical catamaran. A central body, two booms, flotation, all that good stuff you expect from a boat in a tropical area. But, if you want to go under the water, that’s when the fun really starts.
Under The Sea
First, you activate the boat’s onboard hydraulics, which lowers the central pod underneath the surface. You might be wondering, at this point, how you’ll keep your breath; the Platypus has a built-in air compressor onboard you can use for oxygen. Then it’s really just a matter of going where you want to to check out the undersea life.
It’s effective not least because you don’t need a hard plastic “bubble” to protect you from, well, everything, and you don’t need to fill that bubble with air, either, which can get expensive and sometimes even dangerous. With the Platypus, really you just need a swimsuit and some goggles to go under water.
Down Where It’s Wetter
The Platypus is still in the prototyping stage; there are still a few concerns about getting the air system to work without having an unpleasant smell and, needless to say, a few safety kinks to work out before inexperienced divers can take something like this to the waves.
But, sooner rather than later, you’re going to be able to explore the undersea without having to rent a submarine. And, if nothing else, you won’t have to worry about somebody messing with your snorkel.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.