The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface and contains 80% of life. However, we have explored less than 10% of the ocean floor. This is an opportunity to change this; DeepTech with its advanced technologies and autonomous capabilities will be able to expand our exploration of the deep sea.
What will the world under the ocean look like in 2080? What technologies will we use to explore it? How will we live in a deep-sea colony? According to visions from Blue Frontiers and SEASTED, it may look something like this:
Blue Frontiers plans to develop floating cities that run on renewable energy, where citizens can innovate and create new ways of living together. It is pioneering the offshore development of Seasteads (floating cities) through its Floating Island Project, which intends to provide a sustainable model for seasteading as well as solve issues on land like rising sea levels and political instability.
The Seasteading Institute wants to enable seasteaders to establish permanent communities at sea, outside of all national jurisdictions, with the ultimate goal of creating floating cities. Seasteads are independent sovereign nations built on oil rigs or other floating structures in international waters. They aim to create a thriving market for governmental services
The ocean is already a way of life for many people. The coasts are home to the majority of the world’s population. In Egypt, the Red Sea is a major source of national income. In Japan, China and several other countries, fish is among the most important sources of animal protein. But all over the world, including in developing countries, coastal populations and economies are suffering from increasing pollution and habitat destruction.
In 2080, underwater culture will be mainstream. We’ll have underwater cities with 3D-printed housing, underwater farms that use hydroponics or aquaponics (growing fish and plants together), and we’ll be able to explore the depths of our oceans through holograms.
The world’s population has doubled since 1970 to over 7 billion people and it is projected to reach 9 billion by 2040. More than 70% of this growth will occur in cities along coastlines. Some analysts predict that there could be more than 40 “megacities” with populations over 10 million by 2030 – most of them on our coasts.
The most exciting thing we’ll do in 2080 is go to the bottom of the sea. It will be a commonplace journey by then, like travelling by train. We will go there to find a new home for humanity, to write a new chapter in the story of our species. It may sound unbelievable now, but it will happen.
It’s not a question of if, but when.
There are millions of square kilometres under the sea and only three ways of getting at them: floating on top, going down through an airlock or being born there. The first two options are ruinously expensive and dangerous, which is why no one has done it already. But we have the technology now to create permanent colonies under the sea; all we need is someone brave enough to take the first step.
I’m that person. I’m setting up an underwater colony called Poseidon with my company Seasteading Institute in French Polynesia – a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean that are part of France – within 10 years. Our goal is to pioneer radical new technologies for ocean cities that can house tens of thousands of people and exist completely independently from land-based society – like giant cruise ships that never leave port.
The world’s oceans are Earth’s final frontier. We’ve mapped less than 15 percent of the seafloor, and 95 percent of the underwater world remains a mystery. What lies beneath is critical to our planet’s health and future-and for life on Earth.
The ocean is vast and seemingly endless; it covers 71 percent of our planet and holds more than 96 percent of Earth’s water. But, despite its size, it is in trouble: overfishing, pollution, rising acidity, and plastic trash are just some of the problems that have been caused by humanity’s activities.
We need to see beneath the waves as deeply as possible to understand how we can protect them best. In recent years, rapid advances in ocean science have allowed us to dive deeper into the hidden world under the sea than ever before. And we’re about to explore further still, using new technology-from underwater drones and robots to genetic analyses that reveal what creatures live where-to uncover even greater depths from coastlines to the mid-ocean ridges to far below the ice caps.
The ocean has long been a source of wonder, exploration, and discovery. Now, as the seas rise and become more acidic in response to climate change, they may be poised to overtake the
The ocean is the largest habitat on earth, covering over 70% of the planet’s surface and containing 99% of its living space. Yet we know less about it than we do about the moon. This is not just a matter of science. It is also a challenge to our imagination.
For centuries, the ocean was a nightmare for humans, who saw in it only monsters or madness. But this is changing as technology helps us explore further underwater and realises scientific projections that humanity will need to live there in order to survive.
In the next 60 years, there will be more people living underwater than in space, according to the latest scientific forecasts. The first offshore cities are expected to rise within 20 years. Where they will settle is still an open question: some scientists are looking at the seabed as a possible location, while others explore deep-sea habitats such as underwater caves and thermal vents. All these options have been used in fiction (the former inspired Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea; the latter forms part of James Cameron’s Avatar), but they are now becoming reality thanks to engineering advances on land and sea.
The idea of a place like Abyss Creations, with its meticulous attention to detail and mission to bring happiness to the lonely, might seem like something straight out of science fiction. But it’s right in line with what is taking shape in Silicon Valley these days.
For many techies, “deeptech” is the new frontier. Google has put five billion dollars into building a fleet of satellites that will beam internet access down to Earth from outer space. Elon Musk wants to do the same thing, but using solar-powered drones. Facebook has also been developing drones, which its founder Mark Zuckerberg says could one day provide global internet access; more recently it created a research lab devoted to artificial intelligence. (AI experts say they are working on systems that can understand natural language, make medical diagnoses, and even prove mathematical theorems.)
The high-profile projects have attracted criticism from some academics who argue that Silicon Valley is overhyping the potential for AI and robotics. But tech companies say they need highly trained engineers for their projects and that there aren’t enough available in the U.S. So Google and others have turned to China; meanwhile, Apple has opened two research centers there in recent years as well.
So where does this leave Silicon Valley? The
“I remember when the Internet was a thing that no one could understand, and it was all about pornography,” says Paul Hargreaves. “People were saying, ‘Who needs it?’ And then everyone got on board.”
The CEO of Cotswold Fayre, a distributor of artisanal food and drink in Gloucestershire, UK, is talking about his company’s move into blockchain technology. The technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is still frequently misunderstood – even though its potential to change the world has been compared to that of the internet – but Hargreaves is keen to be ahead of the pack.
“It’s going to be a big thing,” he says. “We need to get in there now and start understanding how we can use this new technology.”
Cotswold Fayre is just one among thousands of businesses trying out blockchain. As well as bitcoin, which uses blockchain as its public ledger system, there are applications for tracking food shipments (Walmart), preventing voter fraud in elections (Democratic Party in West Virginia) and protecting intellectual property rights (Sony). Many more are likely to come.
But what if blockchain is just the tip of the iceberg? What if there are other technologies out there that have the potential to