The idea of humans living underwater may is not as crazy as you think. An idea reserved for video games or sci-fi films, underwater cities are a viable solution for humanity in the distant future.
Would you pack up your bags, clear out your apartment and move to some underwater paradise?
It makes sense to go out and colonize Mars, but the ocean is just as livable and is far closer to home. As you probably already know, the earth is 71 percent water. This could be prime real estate for future generations.
Living underwater does pose its host of challenges, like freezing, immense pressure, and a lack of oxygen. Not to mention, underwater living can wreak havoc on your body.
However, there are promising new horizons in the world of underwater living that could tackle these issues and have you or your future children living comfortably in the coming years.
Underwater Cities Are Not A New Idea
Though not as fully pushed as some space exploration, underwater living has titillated futurists since the beginning of the 20th century.
However, it was the iconic ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau who made this idea a reality, bringing it into fruition in the early 1960s.
For the uninitiated Jacques Yves Cousteau was a French oceanographer, researcher, filmmaker, and undersea explorer, responsible for igniting humanities interest in the ocean and the eventual possibility of underwater cities.
Cousteau was so passionate about understanding and exploring the great abyss that is the ocean, he created the famous Conshelf series of underwater habitats.
The structures allowed for oceanauts to live underwater for days even, weeks at a time. Each of the shelters (Conshelf I, II, III) improved over time, eventually allowing for six oceanauts to live underwater at a full 100 meters below the surface.
Cousteau’s efforts to colonize the ocean has laid the foundation for the future of underwater cities.
The Depth of The Colony Affects Everything
How humans breathe underwater, and the depth of the structure are correlated, dictating how the structure should be created and the quality of air, humans will breathe in their underwater city.
First and foremost, humans should not build a colony and deeper than 1,000 ft or 300 meters.
Anything deeper would cause serious risk to the structure and the people living in the habitat.
Because of the immense pressure, the walls of the buildings in the underwater city should be extremely thick, protecting humans from exposure to excessive periods of decompression.
At these depths, humans need to take extra measures to ensure that there is a healthy ratio of oxygen to other gases in the air as the body requires varying levels of different air components when at pressure. Plants and artificial light could help combat this problem.
Food is Not A Problem
The good news is that living on the ocean floor provides humans with large access to seafood found on the ocean floor.
There are Aquanauts who are currently living under water now, who are able to support themselves via spearfishing and pair that with canned and preserved foods.
Even more so, more traditional meals and even fresh water could be transported through tunnel systems connected to the surface.
A Better Understanding of the Ocean
The idea of living underwater excites scientists around the world including marine biologist and archeologists.
Scientists and researchers have better maps of Mars than they do of Earth’s own ocean floors. To this date, humans have only explored 3% of the ocean.
Living underwater could help give scientists a better understanding of the planet and its early days. Not to mention there is a host of resources still to be discovered on the ocean floor.
Experts predict there could be an unquantifiable amount of minerals and metals that could be used to improve humanity and even help with the further construction of underwater cities.
There Are Architects Already Working On Underwater City Plans
Architects at the Shimizu Corporation have already placed a $26 billion bet on the future of underwater cities.
According to the Tokyo based company, their project would allow thousands of humans to live very comfortably on the Ocean floor.
Though most of it is still just speculation, the Ocean Spiral City would sit below sea level off the coast of Tokyo.
With its massive turbines, the city would power itself through the power of waves, tide, and ocean currents, supporting everyone who lived on the structure.
The structure would be able to support 5,000 people, including labs, schools, and beautiful residential areas. The underwater city could become a reality in 2030.
The Technology Already Exists… Sort Of
Right now, humans have the ability to create underwater colonies that could support upwards of 100 people. As a biology professor at Stanford University Ian Koblick states, “There are no technological hurdles.”
“If you had the money and the need, you could do it today.” Beyond that number, technological advances would be needed to deal with emergency evacuation systems, and environmental controls of air supply and humidity.”
Constructed with steel, glass and special cement habitats are more likely to be modular than the more popular big bubble. Structures could be added or subtracted from the underwater colony to help fit population needs.
Larger underwater colonies are already feasible. What keeps them from coming into fruition is a lack of interest, motivation, and funding.
It Could Help Preserve Humanity
Hopefully, it does not get to that but living underwater could save the human species after a major apocalyptic event.
Futurist, Philip Pauley, founder of the London-based visual communications consultancy Pauley, has designed a self-sustaining habitat that could save 50-100 people during a disaster scenario.
One of the best ways to combat the growing threat of nuclear war, limited resources, or global warming may come from moving populations under water.
To the Future
Would you live in an underwater city? You may not get the full Rapture experience yet, however, there are already restaurants and hotels that are popping up around the world that allow people to experience underwater living.