Will Underwater Cities Ever Happen? | Unveiled
well underwater cities ever actually happen underwater cities have been a prominent part of our culture for centuries Atlantis a fictional place mentioned even as far back as in the Platonic dialogues is easily the most famous example maybe while Plato pitched it as an allegory for a villainous power antagonizing his ideal state many listeners took the tale literally and began speaking of the fabled lost city under the sea which in turn inspired countless other accounts of sub aquatic world and while experts today agree that Atlantis was a fictional creation there have been debates regarding Plato’s inspiration with some scholars suggesting that his ideas were influenced by real events or even a long lost civilization regardless of the validity of the Atlantis legend the concept of an underwater city has become a pop-culture mainstay various films books TV shows and video games have told stories about a mythical underwater realm but while they may excite our imaginations we know that a true underwater existence will never be a reality or will it there are clearly reasons why we might want to go underwater at least some proponents for underwater cities believe that the move would solve overpopulation issues as more and more people are born and this land becomes increasingly cluttered the human race will eventually need to find somewhere else to live while we’ve tended to point to Mars or the moon in the past some alternative thinkers have suggested more marine locations others believe that underwater settlements would protect and ensure the survival of our species in the event of a catastrophic natural disaster like a major volcanic eruption flood or asteroid strike while there’s also an argument that underwater cities could be the answer to man-made catastrophes as well global warming and climate change may soon render large parts of land uninhabitable and evidence points towards coastal cities eventually being completely submerged by the sea according to some figures nearly 700 worldwide coastal communities will be affected by rising sea levels by the end of the century with danger zones ranging from Oakland Miami in New York to Shanghai in Hong Kong so in some ways there isn’t much choice in the matter cities will exist under the water it’s just whether or not we can adapt to them the good news is that seemingly next-gen tech for small underwater structures already exists Ian Kovac the founder of a pioneering underwater research facility called la chalupa has even said that we could feasibly create colonies of up to 100 people using knowledge and materials that we currently have for the actual build industry experts tend to point to glass plus specific cements that are often used in underwater construction it’s also generally agreed that we shouldn’t go deeper than 1,000 feet to avoid too many problems with logistics decompression and general health and wild colonies may struggle for a reliable source of power suggested workarounds include hydroelectric methods or solar energy via panels placed on the surface of the water but once a habitat of any kind is built how would we actually live there food would be a mixture of canned products and preservatives as these don’t require cooking and have a longer shelf life you might reasonably expect a fair amount of fresh seafood on the menu – fresh water would either need to be transported from the surface or created through an advanced desalination technique of course that particular issue would be much less problematic for freshwater colonies compared to salt water as for human waste it most likely be ejected out of whatever structure a society was living in and into the surrounding water which while efficient doesn’t exactly conjure a sparkling mental image as for clean breathable air current research stations use air compressors and tubes that literally push fresh air down from the surface using chemicals to remove carbon dioxide however when it comes to deeper depths or larger colonies further technological breakthroughs would still need to be made to ensure constant and reliably clean air the first underwater locales should they ever exist would be much more basic with inhabitants perhaps even relying on scuba style tanks in case of an emergency that said it’s clear that the technology for small colonies is already here and that the fundamentals for simple no frills under the sea living have already been thoroughly explored while they may not be large modern cities ala Atlantis or bioshock’s rapture they would offer reasonably comfortable living conditions for a few dozen daring and pioneering people but what of those massive cities the sprawling water worlds we can probably all imagine opinion is still split on whether they’re possible but there are positive signs tech giant Samsung put together a smart things future living report in 2016 which highlighted various potential aspects of our futuristic lifestyles according to the report we will be living both on and under the water by the end of the 21st century with floating homes and communities becoming especially popular as they’ll allow us to travel toward favorable climates however some companies are thinking even bigger and suggesting that we’ll get there even quicker the Japanese firm Shimizu Corp has reportedly already planned for hypothetical underwater cities to be fully operational by 2030 their conceptual building is called ocean spiral and it can accommodate up to 5,000 people it sees individual houses enclosed in a giant sphere that rests just below the surface of the water it’s anchored via a massive 15 kilometer long spiral to another structure which sits 4,000 meters below the surface housing an expert team to keep an eye on maintenance and mind for resources as for power it’s proposed that it’ll use carbon dioxide from the surface and converted into methane throw in fish farms for food and desalination devices for drinking water plus special generators that harvest changes in water temperature as part of something called ocean thermal energy conversion and you have a fully fledged feat of futuristic engineering the hypothetical structure would cost an eye-watering 25 billion dollars and could still take decades to build but chemises officials say that the project does already have some backing they now only have to wait for the rest of the funding which could still take a while to materialize the acorrea project is yet another ambitious initiative led by belgian architect Vincent Calvo this project foresees several structures called ocean scrapers that stretch from the surface of the sea to its floor these impressive builds are also only hypothetical at this stage anyway but they could house up to 20,000 people and would be largely constructed from recycled plastic collected from our planet’s most polluted waters function-wise they too would reach a depth of 1,000 feet and would theoretically serve as self-sustaining communities with offices hotels and even farms included drinking water would again be created through desalination bioluminescence would provide light and waste would be dealt with using microalgae in one especially innovative move the outer walls would gradually thicken at greater depths to counteract increasing pressure all of these proposals hint towards a perfect world unless of course you have a fear of being underwater however almost all of the visions of sub aquatic serenity unfortunately remain just that visions with few projects progressing beyond the planning stage while we are to a certain extent aiming for underwater colonies various obstacles exist that have so far prevented them from becoming a reality namely that they’d be expensive to build difficult to maintain and though some of them could reduce pollution we’d likely risk damaging oceanic environments by building them in turn all of those issues may have created a lack of enthusiasm or motivation for the pursuit of various Atlantis ideals certainly these projects rarely receive as much attention as NASA’s latest endeavor into space or Elon Musk’s most recent attempt to tame Mars whenever we’re considering where humans could one day relocate to we typically look to the skies and the stars but the answer could well be a little closer to home and one day we may all be sleeping with the fishes but in a good way.
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