In my world there is an ocean that separates the two main continents. The problem is that I think it's impossible to navigate these waters as there are active volcanoes on the bottom of the ocean that are heating the water all the time, so it is very difficult to navigate due to the suffocating environment and the visibility problems that there would be due to the steam, plus there would be quite a lot of rain or storms in that region.

How could one cross this ocean without the use of magic? One solution I can think of is for some nation to advance technologically to create airships that achieve enough altitude to fly above the clouds of that ocean.

Any other ideas?

  • $\begingroup$ I think that you are thinking about a boiling sea filled up with steam and smoke. Nope. As L.Dutch points out, any number of volcanoes on an ocean wouldn't achieve anything more than creating strong temperature-based oceanic streams that will contribute to shape this world's climate - for example, making a northern territory much warmer than it should be, as the Gulf Stream does for western Europe. If your volcanoes are able to produce steam, either it's a small lake rather than an ocean, or your planet has just exploded. $\endgroup$
    – Rekesoft
    Apr 9, 2021 at 10:39

2 Answers 2


People have navigated our oceans completely unaware of the existence of the mid oceanic ridges which continuously spit out lava, until somebody with a sonar mapped the ocean floor.

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There is so much water in the ocean and so much pressure at the bottom that you won't notice anything peculiar until the lava eruption is close to the surface. The heat released by the lava will be diluted in the vastity of the ocean, bearing no appreciable disturbance to the navigation. Iceland sits right on top of the ridge, and it has been colonized with wooden ships.


The only way your ocean would be problematic is if it was shallow and contained so little water it could not absorb and dissipated the heat from a multitude of closely spaced submerged volcanoes.

You would need something like the Deccan Traps or the Siberian Traps to be covered by a shallow sea, when they were active. For this to be a problem the volcanoes would have to be extremely prodigious in their activity.

If this were to be a problem, there are three ways to travel between the two continents:

  1. As you suggest, develop some form of flight capability and fly over the ocean.
  2. Cross the ocean at the extremities, farthest away from the volcanic activity, if possible.
  3. Go the long, around the other side of the planet and avoid the ocean.

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