Living Underwater

Although not a lifestyle many would choose willingly, it is possible that it is a development for living that will have to be met. In a world of rising oceans and over-population, space on lands more suitable to growing crops or farming livestock for the millions may force members of society under the waves. While not a required action, it may be beneficial in its own way.

But who would choose to live such a life? Primarily the curious at first, next those in the adventure for new business or expanding current business prospects, and then followed by those convinced it works. Any of those could happen, but it is more foreseeable that the slow integrated of vast populations to the sub-aquatic life will happen out of the necessity that comes with trying to preserve their homes.

Already evident by underwater findings in the Mediterranean Sea, previous surface dwelling societies have been found submerged due to the rising water levels that have resulted after the last Ice Age. While this rising water was just a part of the natural process of the great stores of water returning to liquid state, it served as death for these lower level island and their inhabitants. Not to be confused with the myths surrounding the sinking of Atlantis, it wasn’t un-common for entire bodies of land to be reclaimed by water. This can best be seen today with cities such as Venice, Italy and many Island chains around the world, but specifically in the South Pacific.

In Venice, while part of the problem is that the city is sinking slowly into what were once already soft-bottomed mudflats it was built upon, the water level itself is still rising and is much higher than when it was established in the fifth century. For Venice it is already too late to overcome the waters indefinitely, but this is not the case for the islands and their residents.

For many small oceanic islands, even a small rise in sea level is a devastating effect when storm surge and tsunamis can sweep over what land is available in an instant. If something isn’t done to lower the natural increase of water level, then the only thing left is to fortify against it. This fortification would entail a slow but steady reinforcement of the land and its exterior so water is kept on the outside as the interior is kept dry. As the process and the maintenance would be very costly, it would require choice decisions on what to save and what to let go, as well as a structuring of the new living environment. If done right for generations, then entire societies could eventually adapt to an underwater style of living – especially if they were totally encased beneath the waves.

Much like the islands, this procedure could be used by salvageable coastal cities the world over. Sea walls, reinforced ground and bedrock barriers that prevent water access, as well as efficient systems to keep encroaching or penetrating water out. Much like Holland and its battle against the sea, many cities across the globe could hybridize as they gradually submerge. And once people get used to half-living underwater, some may choose to do so in colonies built for it specifically.

In the world under water it wouldn’t be unlike living in space, in which the underwater world would be great practice for the eventual living stations in orbit. Food sources could come in the form of aquatic gardens, fish hatcheries, and specialized growing facilities. Power supply could be generated by energy platforms built at the surface utilizing wind and solar collection, or various types of turbine systems could operate on the natural flow of currents or the direct power of thermal vents. Varying forms of fossil fuel use would lead to too much pollution that could harm the environment, unless new usage methods are formed. More likely than not, many systems would use the energy from external devices to filter and separate water into hydrogen and oxygen for various means including fuel cells.

Whether these underwater colonies would be isolated or a distended part of land society is a matter of how they are promoted. If the land and operations are privatized, it is possible they could exist separate of governments, as do some small islands. Otherwise the share of knowledge and trade between the two societies could be very beneficial to the survival of both. With the exchange of both energies and food, it wouldn’t be unlike a neighboring town or community. It is unlikely that trade would stop with just that alone, developing into as normal as a scenario before there was the difference between above and below.

With so many possibilities to consider, the prospect of living underwater becomes a very interesting and possibly enticing endeavor. As much of a society as the current one, yet forced or provided, it is an option. Living underwater is certainly a difficult step to take, but it is one to take forward.