3
$\begingroup$

I'm interested in creating some construct of a society in the Twilight and Midnight zones of the ocean. By what means could they mine, farm, and trade in what is suppose to be a more futuristic society?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding. I edited your question for grammatical clarity but had trouble understanding it. If I got it wrong, please change as needed. $\endgroup$ – Cyn Jun 16 at 4:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also please note that the title and the body of your question are different. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Jun 16 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch Yeah it's not a clear question at all. I just fixed grammar. Without hearing more from the OP, I can't know for sure what s/he is trying to ask. $\endgroup$ – Cyn Jun 16 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ I was starting to cobble together an answer, but really, the deep parts of the ocean are rubbish places to live. They're worse than space; possibly more hostile, definitely worse view. There's interesting stuff down there like manganese nodules but you could just collect them with robots and live somewhere nicer. That doesn't really answer your question though, so I'll just leave it at that ;-) $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Jun 16 at 20:05
3
$\begingroup$

Buildings: Large steel domes filled with air would be the most durable building on the bottom of the ocean. Glass would be risky since a small crack would create a huge problem.

Mining: Drilling for oil in underwater deposits would be way easier if the oil drill were sitting on the ocean floor.

Farming / food: Kelp farms would be efficient on the ocean floor, producing sources of edible seaweed for the people to eat. Quote from Wikipedia:

Kelp has a high rate of growth and its decay is quite efficient in yielding methane, as well as sugars that can be converted to ethanol. It has been proposed that large open-ocean kelp farms could serve as a source of renewable energy. Unlike some biofuels such as corn ethanol, kelp energy avoids "food vs fuel" issues and does not require freshwater irrigation.

O2 production: It would be hard to obtain oxygen from the ocean's surface, so lakes full of phytoplankton would be the easiest way to produce oxygen for the people to breathe.

Transportation: To get in and out of these colonies, you could use an airlock into a pressurized room with a hole in the floor through which submarines could be accessed. The layout would be similar to a beaver dam's entrance, enabling open access to the ocean without flooding the colony. A water-lock would also work well. (like an airlock for water)

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Kelp farms (or indeed, any kind of farm) won't work on the ocean floor. You need sunlight, which is why kelp grows along ocean shores, and spreads its fronds on the surface: sanctuaries.noaa.gov/visit/ecosystems/kelpdesc.html $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jun 16 at 18:21
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ They don't necessarily need sunlight; the farms would probably be lit by grow lights to maximize the seaweed's photosynthesis. $\endgroup$ – Bilbo Baggins Jun 16 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ Where do you get the energy for the grow lights? Seems like they're only economically feasible for high-value crops (such as marijuana in the places where it's illegal), not for ordinary foodstuffs. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jun 17 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ If they can build communication cables across the ocean and if they could even build this colony in the first place, running a simple power line down should be no problem. $\endgroup$ – Bilbo Baggins Jun 17 at 19:47
1
$\begingroup$

this theoretical society could farm bacteria from artificially created vents. These bacteria cultures could be developed to feed many people. These would be the only food that could be developed in bulk to feed the deep sea masses.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding.SE! We're glad you could join us! When you have a moment, please click here to learn more about our culture and take our tour. This is a good answer, but it would be much better if you could edit it and give an example of an edible ocean-floor bacteria to demonstrate the answer's viability. Stack Exchange prefers longer answers (2-4 paragraphs are ideal) to a complete answer can be expressed. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jun 16 at 17:53
0
$\begingroup$

This is essentially the same as planning to build a habitat on another planet. The most reasonable means of farming and food production are exactly the things we are planning to do in space.

Hydroponics and vertical farming allow for efficient food production. With that you could grow just about any fruits and veggies outside of large crops like grain and fruit trees.

Many projects have taken to developing food from hyper-nutritious algae, if you wanted to lean more towards the ocean farming idea, but that would still be enclosed as the right kinds of plant life likely wouldn't survive at that depth.

If you were hoping for something along the lines of farming on the sea floor, then I really don't know of anything that could be grown in that sort of environment, except for maybe hunting for bottom feeders. In that case the shellfish business could be good.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

I like the idea of an artificial sun inside a dome to provide energy, heat, and light. Of course, there may be some practical difficulties. Perhaps a more regular fission plant with sun lamps would be more feasible.

Along with ocean staples like algae, seaweed, and fish, you could grow more regular crops with hydroponics or even regular farms. Meat could be produced normally or grown in vats (carniculture).

To make the domes work, consider increasing the pressure inside the dome to match the ocean pressure at that depth (saturation diving). Note that this requires a lower oxygen percentage and uses helium instead of nitrogen and most other gases typical in air.

A nifty side effect of the higher pressure is that you can use moon pools instead of air locks to get into the sea.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.