There are plenty of people with a fascination for exploring the ocean depths. It takes an extraordinary — and quite possibly eccentric — person to actually do so in a submarine they built themselves. American Karl Stanley is that individual. He began building his first sub, the C-BUG (Controlled by Buoyancy Underwater Glider), while still in college, tracking down parts from dusty warehouses and phoning experts for advice.
He made hundreds of dives in C-BUG before completing his second sub, the Idabel, on Roátan island, Honduras. It’s in the Idabel that he now takes plucky tourists down to a maximum of 610 m. The depth is unprecedented for nonprofessionals, but as a sign on Stanley’s shed reads: GO DEEPER.
There is a caveat. Stanley’s sub has not been certified by any authority. You board at your own risk. But he’s had two decades of experience in submarines and hasn’t lost a passenger yet.