Underwater Cities

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Shangorilla, Dec 20, 2007.

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  1. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    why would we ever live underwater anyways?
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    So that developers can make more money. Another place for more

    taxpayers as well!
     
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  5. Letticia Registered Senior Member

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    Do you expect the city to be under normal surface pressure, or under ambient pressure? This makes a huge difference in design requirements.

    If the former, then unmodified humans can live in it and can travel to and from surface at any time, but the structure must be enormously strong, built to unbelievable tolerances, and very small structural damage could cause the entire city to implode. Also, humans can only venture outside in pressurized vessels, such as rigid deep-sea "suits"[1].

    If the latter, then construction requirements are enormously easier, and structural damage causes only leaks, not catastrophic implosions, but inhabitants will need major biological/genetic modifications in order to live under a hundred or more atmospheres of pressure. Quite possibly, they could not survive on Earth's surface without aritificial aids. OTOH, they could just go for a swim in as little as a wetsuit at any time.

    I recommend you read SF novel "Starfish" by Peter Watts; it's available for free on the web. He addresses your questions thoroughly, including "why?" Here it is:

    http://www.rifters.com/index.htm

    [1] I put "suits" in quotations because these things are not really suits -- they are man-shaped submarines.
     
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  7. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Ah yes, the nanomachine explanantion!

    Here's a philosophical question for you;

    "Could nanomachines construct an argument that the Chewbacca defense could not get you out of? -Discuss."
     
  8. hadrianfosho Registered Member

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    uh yea... and wut if ther are major problems with the surface world eh? 4 example- over population, over the past years, our population has been increasing by millions. afcorse it wud take alot of energy and resources, but eventually underwater cities will be self sustaining, and will benifit us.
     
  9. kmguru Staff Member

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    Only if you maintain zero population growth....
     
  10. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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    Back in the 60's there was a lot of talk in pop sci and sci-fi about living underwater in the future to deal with surface population / pollution problems etc - There were a few experiments like Jacques Cousteau's Precontinent habitats and the Sealab projects in the US - but due to the expense of the habitation, and the physiological problems of the ambient pressure environments nothing really came of them other than expensive marine biology, diving tech labs, and showy futurist experiments

    I dived the rusty and mostly flooded remains of one of the Precontinent experiments in Sudan 2 years ago - the sub pen still holds air and you can come up inside it - which is kind of cool

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  11. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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  12. Homyrrh Registered Member

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    Aside from the 'how', the prevalent and recurring question is 'why' (?). Obviously, such an invertly-lucrative investment is only going to be the proverbial son of necessity. Excepting irrational circumstance (meteor strikes, global nuclear winter, the Rapture, etc.), overpopulation seems the only credible justification. But...

    Stephen Hawking claims the world, by A.D. 2600, will be entirely overpopulated (I'm referencing 'The Universe in a Nutshell'; I understand it's like 'A Brief History of Time'...with pictures!).

    I live in one of the most infamous regions of American overpopulation, north Jersey...which really isn't that bad. Though the most densely-populated state in the union by considerable measure, the US has a ridiculous amount of room to spare for overpopulation. Hell, Maine's coniferous expanses spread for 10 MILLION unsettled acres (thank you, Bill Bryson, 'A Short History of Nearly Everything').

    So whatever conventional figures are being utilized for determining rate of population growth (not sure the rate), the US is not in any immediate danger (Alaska, the Southwest, blah blah blah). Granted, Africa is scheduled to overpopulate in not much past fifty years...but I'm sure we'll be substantially and legitimately colonizing the Sahara WELL before the Pacific.

    Honestly, I personally would forego aquatic civilizations for lunar counterparts.
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Will such travel not be enormously expensive for the same reason: pressure? Building the ships to carry them back and forth is just a miniature version of the engineering nightmare of building the city. I suspect that once you're down there you probably have to stay there. But I'd guess only the wealthy would be able to afford to live in such an expensive home, and they'd be the last people to want to do so.
    Then he's a little behind the curve on that. Based upon the trends they see in the birthrates around the globe, many sociologists are predicting that the population will peak at just around ten billion by the end of this century... and then start to drop back. Prosperity is the most effective contraceptive and prosperity is spreading slowly but steadily.

    The birthrate among native-born Americans is on the verge of dropping below replacement level as it already has in Europe. Soon the U.S. will be dependent on immigration to support Social Security and the rest of the economy, like Europe. And of course by the second or third generation (depending on the group) those immigrants all become Americans with American habits including our low birthrate.
    What's the definition of "overpopulate"? Food production is not an issue in a global economy that is not dysfunctional. The underpopulated, sustainably farmed Western Hemisphere can feed the whole planet, all the way up to that peak population with ten zeroes.

    For an entire continent to reach the uniform population density of northern New Jersey would be remarkable but it would hardly be a crisis per se since people live quite happily and prosperously in northern New Jersey. I've even seen fat people up there so there can't be much of a food shortage.

    It's been pointed out that the single greatest factor in determining whether a person is destined to grow up in poverty is the country he lives in. So the single most effective tactic in reducing global poverty is to encourage emigration.
    Somehow I suspect that the expense would be equally daunting. Lifting materials (not to mention people) out of Earth's gravity well uses up a prodigious amount of energy. No one's proven to my satisfaction that the infrastructure of a lunar colony can be built from lunar materials, so we could be talking about shipping billions of tons of material a couple of hundred thousand miles. (You could not afford union drivers.

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    ) Then there are the totally unknown medical and psychological effects of living in low gravity. And talk about an expat community for whom a trip home is prohibitively expensive! Nonetheless there are probably a lot more people who would like to live on the moon than in Davy Jones' Locker.
     
  14. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Hahahaaa come on they're just nanomachines not a God.

    I was thinking, what if the walls are made from a forcefield? Then the wall part is really cheap. Now, all we need to do is make a forcefield. Then blow it up and poof - instant land. Then we add an anti-gravity to an artificial sun that floats in the middle of the air and turns into a moon ... done and done

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  15. krokah Registered Senior Member

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    I have seen the designs for the underwater habitats. How about a dome top only that has just enough pressure to keep out the water, the roads around the city would just be canals of water that way just the buildings and walks would be out of the water, the substructure and other plant ops could be in closed underwater enviroments that wouldn't need air. Also, there is an artificial lung that is made of microfiliments inserted into a vein with the air exchange taking place outside the body, provides up to 40% of the body's air requirements at rest. The researchers postulated that it may be possible to use this underwater in a few years. I think they are trialing it in England or the UK. With this it would do away with the need for gills.
     
  16. Homyrrh Registered Member

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    The hull could likely be somwhat flexible; just as some large structures are constructed to withstand earthquakes. Rather than withstanding strong ocean currents and/or a disastrous submarine graze, it would, much like a child's goo toy, expand elsewhere to allow for said impact (and obviously one wouldn't expect it to stomach a nuclear blast).

    Fraggle Rocker-- definitely some legit points; I was just trying to use a source a bit more authoritative than my own mind regarding the population growth. My personal sentiment echoes most of what you said regarding a pinnacle then a decline.

    As for relative costs involved with the lunar v. aquatic colonial debate, here (KCSpacePirates.com) is something I came across watching Conan earlier this week (of all places). As this discussion is distinctly beyond the realm of present human technological capabilities, I feel more than justified in introducing this "space elevator". Intriguing to say the least. Regardless, I'd prefer the moon if given equal oppurtunity.

    And, uh, when prosperity doesn't work, well, that's when we start aiming that weapons arsenal Far Eastward....heh.
     
  17. Cazzo Registered Senior Member

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    I think the idea's fascinating, but impractical.
    Not enough pros, and too many cons.
     
  18. shichimenshyo Caught in the machine Registered Senior Member

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    Hasn't anyone here ever played bioshock?
     
  19. Prophecy Registered Member

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    I think it should be done

    I think it should be done. I mean, if i had the money and all, i would definatly invest into it. I would love to be a mayor of an undersea city. and by tourism alone i could get all that money back. people of all races would pay money to visit and hell even live in the city. My inspiration is based off Bioshock. Sure its a game. but, how great would it be to live the game? aside from the mutated humans and all. yes there is the cons of water pressure and air and food and supplies and all. But the city would be below just enough to the point where trees and plants could recieve the needed sunlight they required. By trade and using submarines/ships, the city would obtain food/supplies and medical needs. and water pressure- There is titanium steel for that. Humanity now has the technology to build such a city. I think it should be done.
     
  20. ScaryMonster I’m the whispered word. Valued Senior Member

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  21. X-Man2 We're under no illusions. Registered Senior Member

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    In the right places underwater habitats are most beautiful but at the same time just as we have done on land wouldnt we just screw up the environment down there even worse? If done right sure but we have a tendency to mess everything up even when we have a choice not too.

    Anyway what about rather than in the water we go with on the water? Iv'e seen some awesome floating city concepts online and I would think the cost would be at least cheaper by half.I mean throw up some solar,wind,wave and maybe even some nuclear power and live with others floating around the world.
     
  22. Kernl Sandrs Registered Senior Member

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    You guys are entirely missing the point. You just get a shield, then you build all you want!

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  23. Actual Facts Banned Banned

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    If you were an extraterrestrial Asura (fallen angel) of the Danava race known as Nivata-Kavachas fighting a celestial war for the sovereignty of three worlds against the celestials you would want to live underwater to protect yourself from celestial weapons.

    "O king, when I had said these words, Indra with a smile said unto me 'Nothing is there in the three worlds that is not in thy power (to achieve). My enemies, those Danavas, named, Nivata-Kavachas dwell in the womb of the ocean. And they number thirty million and are notorious, and all of equal forms and strength and splendour. Do thou slay them there, O Kunti's son; and that will be thy preceptor's fee.'" -- Arjuna, Mahabharata, Book III: Vana Parva, Section CLXVII, 8th century B.C.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
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