Colonizing the Oceans
We. Often say we reside on a small pale-blue dot and, indeed, most of our planet, is covered in oceans but. There is land down there buried. So deep under the water no, light ever reaches, it yeah, we might come to dwell there one day. Today. We will be continuing, our look at the oceans this, is part 2 of our thought experiment. Begun in seasteading, and artificial, islands, so. While you don't have to have seen that forest I would, recommend, watching it before, continuing. The. Ocean depths fascinate, us and, are still largely unexplored, as alien. In many ways as other, planets, and hosting. Some life in greater depths that looks quite alien. Mankind. Has been travelling the seas as long as we've history to record it but. Until the last century, we couldn't go very deep, just, brush the surface. Humanity. Has often imagine, living in domed cities on the seafloor and we'll be looking at how you could do that today but. We'll also be exploring many other options for utilizing the deep sea and even, discuss how we might make artificial, volcanoes. To make islands. However. We, have to start by acknowledging one. Key point a big, glass dome on the sea floor under, a kilometer of ocean is not a place most folks would want to live or even, visit even. Annoying that you'll protected, from the water by a glass dome under a hundred atmospheres of, pressure there's. Nothing to see there is no night darker, than the oceans once your kilometer deep sunlight. Just cannot, penetrate down there, if. You want to live down there and see some creatures, or the seafloor you need to have external, lights and in, doing that you will attract things that can use light to live which, means your dome will probably get covered in algae and scum and not, be too fun to look through and again. There's that pressure issue, this, isn't like space, where the atmosphere, difference, is 0, and 1 this, is 100, to 1 higher. Than, on the surface of Venus every. Square inch of that dome is under 40 hundred pounds, of weight every. Square centimeter, 100, kilograms. We. Can build stuff that can handle that that's, about the pressure absorbed, by someone walking around in stiletto, heels well. It's not really something you want to do with a thin transparent dome. So. The glass dome concept, for underwater bases is more likely to be above, structure set, into the seafloor that has windows in rooms that all compartmentalized. Against. Flooding if they break, now. Domes are an option closer to the coast where the seafloor isn't, as deep and the light still penetrates, but even then you're, likely to use the bunker with windows approach not. A big glass dome that. Has an appeal on a less walls for agriculture. So you can grow plants but, for the sea that's not necessary, as you can just grow the stuff on the surface of the water anyways, and, save on the tone such. Bunker window is Wallis or need wiper blades, like your call has since, again they'll get covered in muck quite quickly either. Algae, will grow they'll all will fall down to lower depths, as marine snow, the, various organic, detritus dropped. From higher levels that feeds the midnight ecologies, of the battle ajik and abyss Atlantic regions, thing. Is most, the ocean goes a lot deeper than, sunlight or indeed, even a kilometre most, of our planet is ocean and most of that has an average depth of 3 to 4 kilometers there, are spots that are rich in life as Sun, and nutrients of core together but, that's the minority, most, the oceans are a desert, sure, they have plenty of water plenty of, Sun plenty. Of nutrients, but in most the ocean, those last two don't mix much with the, light above and the nutrients, below. Next. Week we will dive into the environments. Of space habitats, we'll, discuss how the varying, gravity, will let us grow trees of stupendous heights and. This is one approach to terraforming, all our own oceans as we might be able to create see trees able, to grow from the lowest depths all the way up to the surface to get nutrients, from the seafloor and light, from the sky like seaweed, does at more modest, steps such. A plant would be how to engineer or evolve. There's too much distance, from light to nutrient, or nutrient. To light and, would need many tricky, features to permit the needed strength energy, and nutrient, movement but, it could be possible, for. That matter we, will see today there is a ton of geothermal, energy down on the sea floor and an, organism, could be created, to make use of that. One could imagine some, massive, tree that kept the oxygen it makes in buoyant, sacks Oh inflated, leaves to help it handle its mass setting. Roots in the ocean floor and spreading.
Its Leaves across the surface well. We could also build skyscrapers or. See, scrapers which, might use the same approach so. Massive, in size they could only be viewed as Alcala jeez more. On that in a bit but it's worth remembering that bio engineering is on, the table for plants, and for people too mythology. Is full of mermaids and it may be possible to treat people or all pets to have gills or more, modestly, to handle pressure changes, battle if folks, who really want to live in the Seas there. Are not too many reasons, why folks would move to the deep ocean unlike, living on the top of it but we did find some like, wanting to be protected from supernova, blasts or, just be as far from other humans as possible, without leaving off we'll. Go over some of the others as we discuss our options today, but, it raises a big point we make in the outward-bound series. That, colonizing. A planet does, not necessarily. Mean a lot of folks live there a factory. Planet, showing up megatons, of manufactured. Goods every, minute is certainly, colonized, but, might only have a few thousand folks living there to do maintenance. Similarly. Under water, of oceanic, colonization, offers. Us a lot of resources, and benefits but. Not too many for housing you. Might retreat there as a refuge, from invasion or disaster, or like many colonists, in history have, been exiled, or left specifically, to get away from others but. Those imply the surface, has in some way become hostile, to you one. Novel example. As an exception, to small groups for science, or tourism or machine, maintenance is, prisons. If you, want to build a Supermax, people, can't escape from even. The moon is less secure. Worldwide. A little, over 1% of the population is, in prison which, probably vastly, exceeds the number of folks we'd have engaging in tourism or science, under the sea at any given time I'm. Not sure the practicality. Or ethics, of such a concept, but. It does amusingly, fear with our remarks, from last time about a lot of early oceanic, colonies, being, founded, by those trying to evade laws back, on land, you. Can even give them a diverse, mix of oxygen, and helium or hydrogen oxygen. And helium instead, of oxygen and nitrogen sir, someone, did get out they'd be stuck for many hours decompressing. Somewhere, you could grab them, current. Mixes and suits, still put a fairly shallow limit on diving but, we may improve both, this. By the way is one, of our options for fairly deep habitats, that all classic, domes you don't have a pressure differential, because, you put the dome at the same pressure as the wattle and change, the a low mix, nitrogen. Becomes a null conic at higher pressures, it's, not just the nitrogen, bubble issue for decompression so. You have to remove it for people to operate at pressures deeper, than about 60 meters or 6 atmospheres. Incidentally. You add one atmosphere, of pressure for. Every 10 meters of death, that's, Earth's gravity, and the density, of the material stacking. Up and Waddell. Has a specific, gravity of one or, density, of 1000, kilograms, per cubic meter, although, salt water is just, slightly higher gravity. Is 9.8 meters. Per second, squared and, 1.03. Is the specific, gravity for salt water conveniently. 9.8. X, 1.03. Equals. 10 10. Meters of additional. Depth adds an atmosphere, of pressure in salt water however. If, you under rock that's twice as dense it would be every 5 meters or, if you're under a or which is about a thousand, times less dense it's, about a kilometer, if, you're on Europa where gravity is only thirteen point four percent of orth normal, it would be one atmosphere for, every 75 meters. That's. One of the appeals of saying up under sea habitats, on moons, with, subsurface, oceans. Sunlight. Is a non-issue, at that point anyway and so, all natural. Hail mixes, so, you can spread out a lot more before water, pressure becomes a problem, oceans. Are truly, huge volumes, you can't really think of them as areas, and we, often talk about using hydroponics, to help with food needs on earth or.
Food In space but. We often skip aquaponics. Or aeroponics. As options, to we'll, skip ill panics today as well but aquaponics. Is a growing, industry no, pun intended and, is ideal, for subsurface, ocean, farming we, think of floating farms but, they all downsides. They are and one of those is waves the. Surface, of the sea is choppy but, before though you descend in the ocean the more that dissipates, as, submarines. And fishes, both show your. Options, in the sea are not limited, to floating, on the surface or routing, to the seafloor so. You could have farms or cities that just kept themselves slightly. Submerged. And indeed, they could barb around so, fishing when they wanted, or dippy a bit deeper if the weather was bad, even. At just 50 metres so, as you're far from shore you're, pretty safe from even the worst of storms, an aquaponics. Farm need not stay to set depth you, could tow them depot for nights or bad weather but, planting, one at that depth still, permits a solid amount of light to get in and is, still shallow enough that divers, could go down without messing with their air mix such. Farms aren't much more than a bunch of nets and rods to hoard some structural, and, presumably, some ballast, to allow to keep or change death, so. We're not contemplating, anything very fancy. Going. Deeper you'd have to stop suffer main sunlight, with artificial, lights and that's a power issue that. Could easily end up a non-issue, in the future as we get better energy sources like fusion or the power satellites, we discuss someone's, back but. The oceans offer us some power options, too we've. Discussed, some surface, options last time but. Deep down has, to of interest to us forced. There's fission, as we. Improve our reactor, designs to, better utilize the fuel we put in them better, of a cycle the materials, used in and around them and accessed new fuels like thorium, we get access to a vast supply of energy, from fissile, materials, enough. To last us as long as civilization, has already been around at least but. People still don't like it in their backyards. And they solely delight the waste there, remote undersea, nuclear plants, are a handy, option that regard and water, is one the best shields, against radiation, dumping. Radioactive, waste in the sea is actually, banned by international treaty. Under the London convention, but mostly relates to some model contemptible, practices, at the time and, ocean, floor disposal, particularly, into subduction, zones, where, the materials, will get dragged down into the planets mantle, poured, some good options for disposal. Of waste which, might not be recyclable, and be radioactive for, very, long periods of course. It's also a potentially.
Awesome Place to find such materials, - most. Of all is underwater, and the seafloor is a lot closer to the mantle, than the continental surfaces, all and not, just because the seafloor is deep or the. Moho discontinuity. The boundary, between the crust and the mantle is, typically, closed all under the sea 20. To 90 kilometers below the surface of the continents, but only about five to ten kilometres beneath, the ocean floor, beyond. Mineral, wealth that, makes it a great place for geothermal, power, and as, we get better with superconductors. We, may well start to move all of our power generation, off or, lands, to the seas and space, such. Power lines would, be one of many examples of, infrastructural, networks, we might run on or, maybe, in if we buried them just under the ocean floor we, already lay fiber optic cables, that way and we may do power, or pipelines, but, we may also do transport. Elon. Musk's, Hyperloop passenger. Transport, system and love it or hate it has, popularized, the notion of vacuum, trains or, near, vacuum trains, but, the concept, is much Oertel and I regard it as something, of an inevitability. Hypersonic. Or suborbital, flights may, be on the table in even the near future but. Ultimately, you, can't have craft moving through the atmosphere, or over land at such speeds the, sonic booms would be ruinous, and that's very fuel, intensive, you. Can set up a transport, network using orbital rings see, that episode for details but those are essentially, vacuum, trains in space, when. Flying you. Late and as you gain out to the atmosphere thins. Letting, you speed up with, less a low-resistance go. High enough and it causes no track or booms and you can accelerate as fast as you please, however. A vacuum, train or neo, vacuum, train like the Hyperloop, on ground, or buried under it off, was the same option, and, maintain iya vacuum deep underwater is, no harder than maintaining one, atmosphere, of pressure they, are he. Was the cool thing much, like a launch loop when you've no AO in the way you, can accelerate as fast as folks can comfortably, handle and even. If that was just one G you, would hit Mach 1 in 35. Seconds, and Mach, 10 in 6 minutes, such. A mega shuttle would permit travel, from New York to London in half, an hour and you could leave right from a station in the middle the city you.
Don't Necessarily have to stop accelerating at that speed either same. As the Bonin flip method we discuss with spaceships, a vac. Train essentially. A spaceship, can, potentially, accelerate, the whole way flipping. Halfway through and if. Folks don't mind a bit more acceleration or you're sending priority, call go you. Are looking at being able to get anywhere on the planet in half an hour or less, but. You have to have a track and it has to be pretty straight beyond, the curvature, of the earth indeed. As we discussed in orbital, rings that, does impose a maximum, velocity because. You all toning with the sphere of auth and we, can cheat and torn, upside, down so, that the centrifugal force from, turning is counteracted, by Earth's gravity, and it, works as well underground, or undersea, as in, space, you. Tale through that tube at insane speeds, upside. Down at 2 G walking. Around on the ceiling for the trip and in, doing so can achieve twice the speed satellites. Fly over at while, still feeling, like you under normal gravitational. Force albeit. To an outsider upside, down needless. To say building, such a net walk would, not be cheap but, only in the context, of normal, highways. We've, millions, of miles of road and track after. These are horrid ability and pricier but will getting much better at boy tunnels, key. Thing to recall about vacuum, trains though isn't, just that they could get you across the oceans, very quickly is that it could get you from Chicago to, Detroit in minutes, or Atlanta. To Houston, it's, not just for glow spanning, trips, however. All interest, is in those big people, pipelines, under, the sea today so. We'll save discussing, huge underground networks, of them for, later in the series, they. Are a good way to get your feet wet in, deep-sea colonization. Though because all those vac trains and fiber-optic, trunk and power and pipelines, need, maintenance and, need outposts, along the way for safety reasons as we. Said with, any colony, operation, whatever the main purposes, you. Want secondary. Industries, to help move mulch operations. Into, profitable, zones and, geothermal. Power or aquaponics. Or efficient, plants or even an undersea, supermax, prison, are options, they are but. Mining, is likely to be a big one and can, maybe get even, bigger we. Always talk about mining asteroids, or moons but, every asteroid, and Moon al solar system, has less combined, mass than Earth and most of that is in the mantle, and core, and again, the Moho discontinuity. The edge of the mantle is a lot closer on the sea floors. Trying. To mine the mantle, sometimes. Called Moho mining, is a lot easier, said, than done even, the context, of mine things millions of kilometres away in space and, we'll discuss it more down the road but, it is theoretically. Doable, he essentially born a hole down into the magma below we. Have materials, that can handle those temperatures, and, while the pressures involved make that much Horrell it's, not impossible. Let's. Imagine for the moment though we took such a material, and made it a big straw with. One end poking down into the mantle and the other all the way up to the surface and let it fill with a oh not, wattle, straw. Is an apt analogy as, you now have a huge pressure differential. And magma, can rise up we. Might refine, this extracting. What material, we want and, dump the spill around a lava straw building. An artificial island in the process, indeed. We might use such an approach along with good earthquake, modeling to relieve the pressures, that cause earthquakes, volcanic. Eruptions but we don't want them and so, on these. Especially. As uncontrolled, events, are not your friend when engaging in massive, planetary, engineering projects. Needless. To say the mineral wealth and the raw power available. By steam turbines, using, this heat might make for major industries, too but. The ocean floor alone offers, a lot of mineral wealth and, we mentioned an idea last time of a jellyfish, habitat, where, most folks live in a main facility, on or, near the ocean surface while. Long tentacles, scrape the sea floor for minerals and nutrients and move the place around or anchored it we. Talked about lighting those tentacles to provide for ecosystems, at my Hall along with it but, you need not necessarily move, such thing either we, said near the beginning that you wouldn't want to live under the sea very deep because there's nothing to see unless, you light it and, we just discussed, a straw many kilometres long, buried.
In The mantle and reaching, to the surface, which, could become a habitat, of itself much, like oil, vegs, lettuce. Instead imagine. A skyscraper, built, on the ocean floor and all the way up into the skies you. Could put windows on such a thing so long as you compartmentalize, every. Section against flooding if one shadows, and indeed, all the air surrounded. By water provides, a strong buoyant, force that. Will relieve a lot of the weight and compression. Normal, skyscrapers. Face letting, you get away with, a thicker skin one. Could give it tendrils, to just. Cords, floating out from one side giving. Some lights and attracting and boosting, the local ecology so. Now you can see it and there's plenty to see and it provides some food, for those living inside, this. Is very like the al ecology, notion we've often discussed, vast. Buildings, in which horse cities live and form, their own food vertical. Farming and mega skyscrapers. Essentially, and like, many such structures, it benefits, from being bigger we. Said in the Alcala g's episode that, you generally make them why, and used the middle for for me and manufacturing. Folks, will live on the outer edge with a battle view, depending. On how safe those windows are and how good the view is you. Might reverse that in deeper waddles or stick, to it but, you could have vast columns, or cones of all colleges rising. Up from the middle of the oceans and not, just the surface either but, fall above, indeed. If we get good enough with our materials, or active, support systems we've discussed before these. Could be spaced Alice to one. Might imagine earth in a few centuries sporting. Mega arcologies, that rooted themselves, all the way down to the mantle and all the way up to space from. Moho discontinuity. To common line such. A structure, would have by, normal, building standards, about, 40,000. Floors and a, big cone or neo shaped one just, 10 kilometers in, radius quite. Small for an island would, have an internal floor space equivalent. To a small continents. And one, could know tens, of thousands, of such structures, each, housing billions. In comfort, as we. Mentioned in the ecumene oculus episode planet-wide, cities the, follow-up on ecologies, finding. Room for trillions, of people on earth if you have the energy doesn't, involve paving, over everything, indeed. You'd be enhancing, and empowering. Local ecosystems. If done, properly, the. Problem, is getting rid of all the heat fall. Future, stuff but, that's what we look at he'll and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one, other approach to colonizing, the oceans which, would be to drain them we. Have a lot of waddle indeed, we have a lot in the mantle, - not, just the oceans and, precious, stuff in space but. All you be mostly in the way down he'll, almost. All the ecology, happens, in the forced hundred meters or so as does, the evaporation, that fuels our lane supply and weather, systems, last. Time you mentioned the scenario, in, which we, might start building me skinny, and long islands, across the oceans and even cunning canals into the continents, you, can do - a force to drain. Those seas out and cut, deep lakes and smaller seas as. Stones while, making new land on what used to be the ocean floor, and moving. Much of that waddle into habitats. Built, in orbit, around Earth, one. Need not go all-in on this either water. Levels have been much lower in the past that's, how our ancestors, could watch the Americas, or Australia, and one, might decide to restore that leaving. A very different-looking planet, again. Such things are why we call this the earth 2.0. Series, as they, fundamentally, change, the planet whether, for better or worse is an ethics question we'll skip heal though certainly a worthy one for contemplation for. The series we'll just lay out the options that might be on the table and where, they might not be something we want to do on earth the, galaxy, is full of other walls we, might employ such techniques, on or. In our day dreams too as I, said the beginning the ocean depths fascinate, us and are still largely, unexplored, alien, places. Mankind. Has been traveling the sea is as long as we've history to record it but, until the last century, we couldn't go very deep just, brush the surface, we. Often talk about the Golden Age of science fiction and the classics. Written in the middle of the 20th century but it goes back before them and one of the true classics, is shows, vorlons 20,000. Leagues Under the Sea our, book of the month a chronicle. Is a trip around and, under, the oceans in the submarine Nautilus, appropriately. Sharing a name with the actual, Nautilus, a craft, built in 1800. That's, usually considered the first practical, submarine, indeed. It was also the name of the forced nuclear-powered.
Submarine Which also forced, transit under, the North Pole in 1958. The. Vorlons Nautilus, which he chronicled, the voyages of 150. Years ago sets. Out in the 1860s. For a trip around the world initially. Our narrator for the tale joins, an expedition, hunting, the Nautilus thinking, at a sea monster not, a submarine making, a long journey the. Commander, for this 20,000. Lead journey is Captain, Nemo, a fascinating. Character that also appears, in another Vaughn's, novels, the mysterious, island and. Has shown up and many of the tribute walks to Vaughn, like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Needless. To say this. Story has been adapted to film and TV many, times both, good and bad but. The book is still amazing even now it's, dated a bit in its science and technology. Needless, to say however. That's, not only part of its charm but also a plus he. Is so easy for us to forget that science and technology and, the drive for contemplating. The future is not, something, new and we, had already accomplished, so much by the mid 19th, century while. Hall D without their faults, there is so much to admire about, our ancestors. And, such walks lets you immerse yourself in, the wall as they saw it and the, future, as they saw it what, they got right and what they got wrong always. Something to keep in mind as we ponder all future, here, on this channel, there. Are many audio adaptations. And performances, to pick from and if you'd like to grab a free copy of the audiobook from audible. Forest. And find, the narrator whose voice you like the most I think, I saw a dozen or more to pick from and a noticed one was done by Harlan Ellison, that fantastic, and flamboyant. Arthur who said they left us a few months back I had, a chance to attend a talk by him many years ago and, he's always a pleasure to listen to and he narrated quite a few audiobooks, another. Thing I like about audible. If you find a narrator, you like you, can easily pull up other stories, they've read and, it's often a good way to find new authors you enjoy too if. You'd like to grab a free copy of 20,000. Leagues Under the Sea by, which everyone nearly will you enjoy just, use my link in this episode's description, audible.com. Slash, Isaak, or text, Isaak to 500, 500, to get a free book and a 30-day free trial, and that book. Is yours, to keep whether, you stay on with audible or not. Next. Week we'll be back up in space in environments. Of space habitats. We're, discuss O'Neil Saunders and other space habitats, focusing. On their environments, ecology. And weather which. We'll see is not just inside, but, also outside, in, the not-quite void of space. And two weeks from now we'll, be teaming, up with the Sens Research Foundation, to. Discuss extending. The human lifespan a topic, we've discussed before heal in terms of his implications. For civilization. But, this time we'll dig deeper into the biology of Aging and the signs of how to slow it down way. Down for. Lots when those and other episodes come out make, sure to subscribe the channel and, hit the notifications.
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