Ichthyander Project

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The Ichthyander Project was the first project involving underwater habitats in the Soviet Union in 1960s.[1][2][3][4][5]

Inspired by information on experiments on underwater habitats abroad (in particular, by Jacques Cousteau's Conshelf), the members of the amateur diving club "Ichthyander"[6] in Donetsk embarked on the project of their own at a site by Tarkhankut Cape, Crimea.[1]

In August 1966, in the first experiment, purely amateur, Ichthyander-66, a person spent three days continuously underwater. After newspaper news, the experiment attracted attention of authorities and scientist, and during Ichthyander-67 the habitat operated for two weeks. After Ichtyander-68 Ichtyander-70, after unsuccessful attempts to elevate it to a professional level, with state support, the project was discontinued.[3] A 1968 Soviet popular science book Homo Aquaticus writes: "It so happened that after the 1967 expedition, an order was issued to dissolve the club". Ichthyander-68 was carried out during a short-lived attempt the members of the club to attach themselves to the Mining Science-Technical Society (Горное научно-техническое общество) to start research in underwater geodesy and drilling.[7]

A memorial marker exists (a stone with a plaque and steel slabs) at the site.[1]

This project preceded and catalyzed several other early Soviet experiments with underwater habitats, such as Sadko (autumn 1966), Chernomor and Sprut.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c "Ichthyander-66, an Underwater House in Tarkhankut", Tatiana Shevcnenko, Sobytiya Weekly ("«Ихтиандр-66» — подводный дом на Тарханкуте", Татьяна Шевченко, «События»)
  2. ^ a b http://www.vokrugsveta.com/body/po_moram/ixtiandr2.htm "ПЕРВЫЕ ПОДВОДНЫЕ ДОМА"
  3. ^ a b c "ЮРИЙ КИКЛЕВИЧ", a bio of the engineering leader of the project
  4. ^ http://gazeta.crimea.ua/news/print/troe-sytok-pod-vodoi-v-samodelnom-ihtiandre-8143 Archived 2013-12-16 at the Wayback Machine, Татьяна Шевченко "Крымская газета", Krymskaya Gazeta
  5. ^ Ихтиандры с мыса Тарханкут, Vokrug Sveta, #2, 1967
  6. ^ Note: Ichthyander was the name of the main character of the Soviet science fiction novel and film, The Amphibian Man
  7. ^ Чернов А. Гомо аквактикус, 1968, Молодая гвардия, chapter "Ихтиандр-66" таврический

Further reading[edit]