So, I have this superhero, and his name is, Logan Wotowski. He has the ability to heal from any injury, like a gunshot wound, knife blow, or paper cut. But, he only has that one ability. He is stronger and faster than average but doesn’t have super strength, or teleportation. The villain of my story has just caught Logan, attached concrete to his feet, and dropped him down into the Mariana Trench. He doesn’t die, but the pressure and weight make it impossible for him to move a muscle.

But, my super team of heroes already thought ahead, so my question is, how could they make it possible to find Logan?

EDIT By that, I mean, is there some real-world technology that could make the search for any lost heroes easier. I can’t find it myself.


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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – James Jul 9 '18 at 21:31

If Psy-clops, who's not a big fan of Logan, has his way, the latter could be there for a while. Eventually Logan would be found, and Psy-clops gets a raise for keeping spending low.

Concrete corrodes when exposed to seawater. It also breaks down under a lot of pressure - anywhere from 2000 to 19000 psi, depending on the grade. The pressure at the bottom of the Mariana trench is a little under 16000 psi, which may or may not break the concrete down outright. Regardless, the saltwater and pressure are going to ensure a finite lifetime. The best source I could find on concrete's lifetime in seawater suggested (for some concrete types) repairing bridges made with non-marine concrete in about 10 years. Let's put the upper limit at 100 years, which seems ridiculously high for these conditions.

A lot of this is going to depend on Logan's physical condition. Is he actively straining against his slowly-deteriorating bonds, speeding up the process? When he finally busts out, as a superhero he'll probably be negatively buoyant, which means he'll have to swim a couple of hundred miles to the Mariana Islands, or much longer if he doesn't head in exactly the right direction.

Eventually, he'll reach land of some kind - whether it's ~150 miles to the Mariana Islands, ~1000 to Japan, the Philippines or China, or several thousand if he heads east and manages to miss the few islands between him and the United States.

If Psy-clops didn't convince the Super Squad not to search for Logan, they could conceivably find him once he's surfaced via search teams, satellite imagery, or Professor Chi's super power. If not, it's just a matter of discerning where he is and finding a cell phone.

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    $\begingroup$ But he wouldn’t be able to swim. Would the 16000 pressure keep him pinned down underwater? $\endgroup$ – Robert Paul Jul 9 '18 at 20:19
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    $\begingroup$ The body requires energy to heal wounds just as it does to repair muscles after exercise. He may get fatigued, but if he can heal indefinitely then he can also move indefinitely. He could always swim in shifts, attempting to float in between, or find some piece of detritus to hang off of while he rests. But re: your first comment, ask yourself this: if there's ~1 atm of pressure per 10m of water and pressure restricts your movement, how can divers below 50m swim? $\endgroup$ – Punintended Jul 9 '18 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ At that pressure, he will probably just be a gooey mess inside a concrete container. If even one cell of that goo escapes through a crack and gets caught up in the currents, it might eventually be carried up to a more comfortable depth; at which time it can regenerate into a brand new, fully healthy Logan and swim the rest of the way home. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Jul 9 '18 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ @RobertPaul pressure pushes in from all sides, not just from top to bottom. See here [physics.stackexchange.com/questions/255970/… $\endgroup$ – bendl Jul 9 '18 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Punintended, that has always been my biggest complain about regenerating characters. They reproduce by budding, so every shaving accident leads to one or more clones. With each of them immortal and self-healing there is no way to avoid flooding the world with Logans. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Jul 9 '18 at 20:42

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