Floating has been around for decades, invented by John C. Lily in 1954 as part of the National Institute of Health. In the early 1980s float tanks saw a lot of media, including articles in Omni, the New York Times, and even Saturday Night Live. There were dozens of university-backed research studies on the beneficial effects of floating. In the late ’80s the float tank industry in the US rapidly declined, and most centers shut down their doors before 1990; fear caused by the AIDS epidemic is generally credited with the swift rate of declination. In the early 2000s small float centers emerged here and there, but there was no real activity until 2010. Larger float centers began to open again, and some of the first commercially viable centers in years began attracting large amounts of customers. Now there are about 200 float centers in the United States, up from only dozens in 2000.