I wasn't sure which section to put this discussion in, since it covers several sciences, as well as sociology and history (I consider projecting into the future to be a form of historical study, since one cannot know the future without the past; sounds cliche but I think it's true anyway). Basically, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how it would happen (let's assume that it's a motivation people have in the future; primarily for economic exploitation of the ocean floor), the types of technologies involved, the the ramifications for international politics and law (What happens to the Law of the Sea if Nation-States fund and have jurisdiction over these ventures?), etc. I kind of have a vague idea, but it's not highly formed and I was wondering if it would catch anyone's interest. References to science fiction are ok as examples, but I mean for this question to provoke realistic responses (again assuming that people actually want to and are willing to invest significant time and effort in doing so, primarily for economic exploitation of the ocean floor). Shoot.