This Pool Room is a Real Dive

by Matt Forcey

As a kid, my friends and I made imposing fortresses in my parent’s basement.  Our blockhouses were buttressed with old cardboard boxes and bed sheets that we found in storage closets and out in the garage.  Pretty typical boy stuff.  But when your garage is full of vinyl sheeting and steel cable, and your entire family is scuba certified, your “construction projects” might just take a different direction.

For the past three years, the Needham clan of Reno Nevada, has been immersed in the development of a secret family hideaway… on the bottom of an alpine lake!  Twenty feet down, and composed of a steel octagon, optically clear vinyl, a big net, and oxygen, the Needham’s Bubble Room has attracted so much interest that they’ve recently productized the whole kit and caboodle and are selling it on their website.

Before taking the plunge, you might want to check out this interview with one of the original designers to find out more about the project background and Bubble Room development.

Jordan Needham: “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.  (You can watch a video of used air being forced out of the bubble and up to the surface)

Also, the air in the bubble is 1.5 times more dense than the air on the surface, because of the additional pressure, so it is a must to exhale on the way out of the bubble to the surface. The one lung full of air you breathe in down there would expand to 1.5 lung fulls on the way up, and ruptured lungs would ruin anybody’s day.

One last thing, I hold a provisional patent on the idea and have adapted a version to be installed in a private pool, with a fresh air pump constantly feeding it with more air than the occupants could use. Some day I would like to try and make a little business out of it, and go around installing them in people’s pools. You can’t tell me Snoop Dog or a mob boss wouldn’t want to have a little Bubble Room of their own!”



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