Underwater cities could be ready to live in by 2030
A new proposal for a spiraling underwater city could have people living beneath the surface of the ocean in as soon as 15 years.
Japanese firm, Shimizu, has introduced a design for an underwater city that could be ready to live in by 2030, according to Discovery. The city would be built around structures that could each house 5,000 people and reach 2.5 miles deep, and each dome would be part of a self-sustaining eco-system.
The proposal is still just a concept, but according to Shimizu, the technology should be available within the next 15 years – although the price tag would be steep. Each self-contained underwater eco-system would run about $16 billion, and that is just the initial estimate.
The underwater cities would begin with a sealed dome at the surface level containing houses, businesses, hotels, and more that would sit slightly above the water at most times. During periods of bad weather, the dome could then submerge for safety. The dome would connect to the seafloor using spirals that could go as deep as 2.5 miles, and these resin-based spirals would then be created using huge, industrial 3D printers.
The spiral could then harvest materials from the ocean to make the habitats sustainable. Micro-organisms could turn carbon-dioxide into methane. The differences in seawater temperature could be harnessed to create energy. Hydraulic pressure could be used to desalinate water and make it drinkable, and more.
This is, of course, all just hypothetical at the moment, and there probably aren’t too many companies willing to shell out $16 billion on an unproven concept. There are plenty of reasons to give it a try though. The cities would be ideal for areas frequently hit with water-based storms, including typhoons and hurricanes. With rising waters around the globe, it could potentially be a possible solution for areas threatened by decreasing land mass. It would also make for an ideal research facility for marine scientists.
If the costs can be lowered – and they should, given the plan to use 3D printers that are becoming more popular – Shimizu’s underwater city could be fairly close to reality.