Questions tagged [underwater]

For questions about events occurring below the surface of a body of water.

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74
votes
19answers
14k views

How would an aquatic race develop computers?

Following on from this question and assuming the race in question had developed the ability to create tools how would they approach the need for mass calculation. Our early computers were used to ...
48
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8answers
14k views

Could underwater living organism create technology?

Could underwater creatures with the intelligence of human cave men or possibly the intelligence of apes create technology (that is, more complex technology comparable to what we have now rather than ...
48
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3answers
13k views

Is there a maximum size an ocean bound creature could grow to?

Assuming the ocean is deep enough and not overcrowded is there any upper limits to the size a "sea monster" can grow? On land creatures are limited by gravity, they have to be able to generate the ...
44
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8answers
10k views

Is it harder for an intelligent octopus to live on land, or a human to live in space?

I have a race of octopodes with the same intelligence distribution as humans. I want them to “colonise” land to a similar extent as we have “colonised” space; have regular transport between the ocean ...
43
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20answers
6k views

How expressive is a color-based language?

In the answers to this question I learned that some cephalopods communicate via color: Some cephalopods are capable of rapid changes in skin color and pattern through nervous control of ...
37
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17answers
10k views

In an underwater society, would the wheel ever be invented?

In a different question, someone mentioned "technology dichotomy", where they said "you can't invent time travel without first inventing the wheel". Then I read the question In a society of flying ...
34
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17answers
10k views

An underwater creature that could take down a boat

Imagine that when Christopher Columbus sailed West in his Carrack to travel around the world to reach India, he had never made it to land, because halfway across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and ...
30
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15answers
6k views

Are there any structural materials suitable for production underwater?

One of the points made in a number of recent questions regarding underwater races has prompted me to review one of my older pieces of world-building. Namely: the difficulty of producing common ...
27
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6answers
5k views

How would an underwater race protect against pressure waves?

In my fictional world, there is a race of mermaid-like creatures that are having a bit of a problem. That problem is that the surface dwellers have made something called a depth charge. This makes ...
27
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6answers
6k views

How deep can the ocean plausibly be?

I want to have planet with as deep an ocean as plausibly possible. How deep can I go given these restrictions? Planet must be in habitable zone of a star Generally, planet should support life Size of ...
27
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6answers
7k views

What types of musical instruments would develop underwater?

Water is different from air, and sound waves propagate through water in a different way than they do in air (caused in part by interactions with the bottom of the body of water). For a society living ...
26
votes
15answers
5k views

Any reasons for a primal aquatic race to build land-based villages?

Imagine a sentient species with these attributes: not very advanced (think primal tribes) can breathe underwater good swimmers feed on seafood (fish, algae) live in a high fantasy world with orcs/...
26
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7answers
4k views

How could a simple submarine be built using 100 BC technology?

I have some ideas, but I'd like my fictional Roman (100BC) General Mikey (ha) to build a submarine(s). This should be able to navigate in lakes and calm shores of the Mediterranean, succeed in ...
24
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12answers
10k views

Could a person scuba diving take off his air tank and use it to propel himself?

So, in my story, in a prelude to an epic aquatic fight scene, my main character gets chased by a great white shark. He swims as fast as he can but he can’t escape. Just to clarify, he’s wearing one of ...
24
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8answers
10k views

What would happen to a human body subjected to extreme water pressure?

First of all, I tried to look if this wasn't answered before. Found this and this but neither is exactly what I need. Some Context There's this race of humanoid fish people. They live in cities ...
24
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7answers
6k views

How would nuclear fallout affect the oceans?

I'm trying to build a setting in which humankind would have no other choice than to live underwater to survive. Suppose there was a nuclear war in which a huge part of the human population died, and ...
23
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16answers
5k views

Weapons for Mer-people

Thanks to this question on undersea fortifications, I have begun to wonder about the kinds of weapons mer-people would use when fighting one another. Normally, mermen are assumed to use tridents, but ...
22
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8answers
2k views

What is plausible biology of ocean-dwelling, tool-using, intelligent creatures?

I want to develop a water-dwelling, intelligent species that could ultimately reach space.1 My question here is about the biology of such creatures. I want my creatures to live in the water, not ...
22
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7answers
2k views

Sea creature moving via rotational motions

So we all know that the majority of sea creatures use fins that move either from side to side or up and down to propel themselves. But our boats don't do that. Our boats use propellers - a rotational ...
21
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17answers
7k views

What is a medieval technology method of underwater enemy detection?

I am writing a DnD module where fishmen are invading island nations. The islands would naturally have adapted to this in some way as the raids have been happening for years. What method would these ...
21
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10answers
4k views

Looking for a soft substance that doesn't dissolve underwater

I'm writing a story that takes place entirely underwater, mostly in a deep sea town and shallower city. Both are underwater and populated by beings who can survive underwater. My thinking is that ...
21
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8answers
6k views

How do underwater societies develop mining?

You have an underwater civilisation, be they merpeople, octopus people, partially evolved humans or not. One thing that is always considered as a necessity in the development of any society is mining. ...
20
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8answers
3k views

What are the considerations for waterproofing a building's first few floors?

My city's founders had the short-sightedness to place it on the coast. Now, for mysterious reasons, the sea level is rising. The municipal government has decided that building dikes is "too Dutch" and ...
19
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3answers
5k views

How do mermaids perform major surgical procedure underwater?

Suppose the mermaids share similar intelligent and technology with us, they also practise performing surgical operation like we do in hospital. Negate the issue of negligent during the operation the ...
19
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10answers
5k views

What kind of weapons would still be effective under water? [duplicate]

I have a mer civilization that does have magic, with a technological advancement to about flintlock musket level, so nothing overly complicated. I need the soldiers to have effective weaponry, ...
19
votes
8answers
4k views

How would an aquatic civilisation forge tools?

One of the first steps in technological is the ability of a civilisation to forge tools* humans achieved this by using fire and creating forges. There are obviously underwater heat sources but I don'...
18
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7answers
3k views

Could an aquatic civilization discover space travel?

Building from this and this, given an aquatic civilization somehow manages to forge tools and build computers, could it build space-faring devices? Also another development that would come earlier (...
17
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9answers
3k views

What underwater creature would be well-suited as a pack animal?

Suppose that there was a tribe of nomadic mermaids whose lives were primarily centered around following pods of dolphins to eat. They live in the equivalent of the frigid antarctic seas. As they ...
16
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4answers
4k views

Could you actually make Sandy's Treedome in real life?

So, I have a question that focuses on a character from a show, Spongebob. Sandy Cheeks lives in a reverse aquarium under the sea in Bikini Bottom, in a dome that looks like this The Treedome is made ...
16
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7answers
21k views

Do mermaids lay eggs underwater or give birth to live young?

Let's pretend these magnificent and beautiful creatures are able to reproduce asexually so we can forget about their mating habits or their partners. I have yet to witness any hard shell eggs laid ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

Oxygen cylinders in medieval world

There is this community where people dive into the sea for precious stones. I need an oxygen cylinder sort of thing for divers. It can be plant based or it can be a dependency on some other species. ...
15
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7answers
2k views

What would make good clothing for an underwater species?

A soft and vulnerable intelligent underwater species, you can consider them closely related to Earth's octopus - in the way chimps are closely related to humans. Consider that clothing is often worn ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Creating a realistic world map - Underwater geography

Creating a realistic world map - Erosion covered the various factors that govern the topography of a world. Rivers, wind, heat, and plants are some of the most important factors. Underwater, though, ...
14
votes
2answers
677 views

What would be the mythology of an aquatic species?

I started a lot more SF stories than I ever completed. The fortnightly challenge topic reminds me of an idea I had around 1986 or so, when the new PC's I was selling featured 640 kilobytes on the ...
14
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9answers
5k views

How would an intelligent civilization evolve in the floor of a deep ocean world?

Defining what is a super intelligent civilization: An industrial civilization that invest on scientific progress and that builds and manipulates computers, robots and nano-machines, has efficient ...
14
votes
3answers
984 views

What would have to happen in order to force us to live in the ocean?

What kind of a scenario would have to occur in order for human beings to seek survival on the sea floor? It could be man made or natural, ice age or heat apocalypse, sudden disaster or gradual ...
14
votes
2answers
854 views

Is an “Underwater Metropolis” possible today?

Im sure some are familiar with Bioshock's "Rapture City," a (somewhat) successful underwater city that was able to maintain stability and house an entire population. But, using current technology and ...
14
votes
2answers
695 views

What would out-of-water warfare look like for underwater people?

In my short story, there are underwater people who are now up to WWII technology-ish (major differences, but that level and population of society). These mermen can hold their breath for as long as ...
13
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6answers
2k views

Mermaid architecture

In most representations of mermaid cities, they either live in implausible magical palaces, or in some more or less elaborate cave systems. Assuming the only difference with our world is the presence ...
13
votes
3answers
611 views

Trade between humans and underwater fish people

In my high fantasy medieval world, the ocean is populated by underwater fish people and land dominated by your good old human. Different type of fish people (shark, whale, turtle, shellfish, etc.) ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

What would be the communication range of an underwater species?

It's a commonly known fact that whale song travels huge distances. In fact apparently before the oceans were so noisy they could communicate over 10,000km! However, whales are very big! They can ...
12
votes
4answers
511 views

How could a climate-protection organization breed sapient, tool-developing cooperating Cephalopoda?

I am working on a scenario where a climate protection organization tries to breed sapient Cephalopoda as a help in their fight against climate change. The breeding goals of the evolving species are as ...
12
votes
11answers
431 views

How might a highly intelligent aquatic species (mermaids) communicate underwater?

I'm trying to create basically realistic mermaids, and working on developing body language and vocalizations. I have most of the vocalizations I can think of (suggestions are still appreciated), but ...
12
votes
4answers
478 views

Would an average seawater mermaid be any larger than its freshwater counterparts?

Let's use the sea turtle and the terrapin as an example, need I say more? I used terrapin because like the mermaid which is half fish and half girl so a terrapin would serve as an excellent example. ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Underwater acoustic muffling/dampening and sonar evasion. Is a stealth torpedo possible?

So I have various factions with submarines and surface ships battling it out for control over various underwater resources. One of the rarer and more lethal weapons is a "stealth torpedo". It ...
11
votes
4answers
915 views

Fishing from underwater domes

It makes sense to me that the best food in an underwater dome complex would be fish. Considering the massive amounts of aquatic life in the vicinity, it could work pretty well. However, I can't think ...
11
votes
5answers
727 views

Would the collapse of civilization make turning into a vampire and colonizing the ocean floor a sane idea?

One idea I've always wanted to try writing is the concept of vampires exploiting their lack of a need to breathe and generally low-maintenance biology to escape the brunt of the sun's rays by living ...
11
votes
3answers
391 views

Urban centers for octopuses

I am imagining a water covered planet. There could be a few pieces of land scattered here and there, but >99% of the planet's surface is water. There are various ecosystems and biospheres where a race ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How could there be underwater thriving city in the medieval age?

I'm writing an adventure story set in the medieval age, our hero came(dived) across an underwater city with an estimated population of several thousands at depth of hundreds of meters below sea level. ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Underwater Sneak Attack

I have a society of merpeople that have developed sonar in order to hunt, gather resources, and in some instances communicate. They use organically created weaponry (sharpened coral, animal incisor ...