Electricity pervades our daily lives, and makes possible a lot of technological achievements. Harnessing it helps the development of any civilization. The thing is, water - especially sea water - is a great conductor of electricity.
I'd like to add electricity to an underwater civilization I'm working on, but I have two problems to deal with.
- How would the civilization discover electricity?
- How could the civilization use electricity (without electrocuting themselves)?
Some details about the civilization:
- They are octopus-like, insofar as they have tentacles for manipulation of objects.
- They have gills.
They don't have fire - although I'll possibly address that in a future question.They might. I'm addressing this in How could an underwater civilization develop fire?.
- The technological level is somewhere around that of the 1700s in Europe, if that helps.