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Permanent Undersea Homes Soon; Temporary Ones Now

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the meet-our-butcher-dexter dept.

Earth 122

MMBK writes "Dennis Chamberland is one of the world's preeminent aquanauts. He's worked with NASA to develop living habitats and underwater plant growth labs, among other cool things. His next goal is establishing the world's first permanent underwater colony. This video gets to the heart of his project, literally and figuratively, as most is shot in his underwater habitat, Atlantica, off the coast of Key Largo, FL. The coolest part might be the moon pool, the room you swim into underwater."

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Cousteau (2, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463192)

It was tried in the 1960s in the Red Sea

Re:Cousteau (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463254)

Yeah, and we all know how it went. Damn splicers.

Re:Cousteau (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463876)

Wow. Is it bad that I had absolutely no idea what you were talking about [wikipedia.org] until halfway through the comments here? Is it worse that I've actually played that game?

Re:Cousteau (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465552)

The reference didn't strike me immediately either, until I went back to "underwater" and went "Oh shit, there's a whole game that takes place down there!"

Re:Cousteau (5, Insightful)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463342)

With 1960's technology. He said in the video that it was impractical to do it back then. But using modern technology it could be.

While I wouldn't want to live underwater myself, if this is done responsibly I am all for it. We talk about colonizing space, this is actually a step in that direction, and a lot cheaper and will push the same types of technology if we are ever going to colonize space.

ob. Futurama quote (re: same tech for space & (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463674)

Leela: "Five thousand feet!"
Farnsworth: "Dear Lord! That's over one hundred and fifty athmospheres of pressure."
Fry: "How many athmospheres can the ship withstand?"
Farnsworth: "Well, it's a space ship. So I'd say anywhere between zero and one."

Re:ob. Futurama quote (re: same tech for space &am (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31465028)

No idea why you were modded insightful. Big deal that the hulls are subject to different design ideals. A hardcover book will resist bending more than the paperback version. Still the same story on the inside.

There couldn't possibly be any crossover for oh.. I don't know.. say sustainable atmosphere recycling, waste management, or food production.

Re:Cousteau (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464202)

With 1960's technology. He said in the video that it was impractical to do it back then.

You mean, if you give the people Internet access and Slashdot, they will happily forget that the view out of the window isn't that great?

Re:Cousteau (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465306)

And porn. Mustn't forget the porn.

Re:Cousteau (1)

BillX (307153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31468200)

He already said internet access.

Re:Cousteau (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31464640)

What exactly are they using in terms of technology that was invented after the 60's?
Stainless steel? 1821
Rubber gaskets? 1839
Tempered glass? 1943

Re:Cousteau (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465736)

I doubt that the interesting challenges are the structural. Hell, a bright Victorian engineer could probably have pulled off the structural side of an undersea habitat with enough pig iron, india-rubber, and willingness to keep sending down Dickensian orphans and cheap irish labor until the job was done.

The real tricks are in things like small-scale closed loop recycling of important biological materials, local energy generation, and the like. That territory isn't wholly unexplored; but it is likely where the greatest changes since the 60s have been made.

Without that stuff, whatever "undersea habitat" you build will end up being largely or wholly dependent on a surface supply station and will be, in effect, a fancy diving bell. Congratulations, a technology that Aristotle mentioned, and that was in limited but active use in the 17th century. Impressive.

Re:Cousteau (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31468126)

It's still not practical, nor will be for the forseeable future.

*Possible*, perhaps, but not practical. To be practical, there would have to be some benefit to it besides novelty. You'd have to be able to build whole cities down there and, importantly, these cities would have to support themselves economically in some fashion. That's just not going to happen now or soon.

I suppose you could build an exotic resort down there, and charge rich people an arm and a leg to visit for a week at a time. Beyond that, there's no practical benefit at this time.

Re:Cousteau (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31468342)

The trouble is, if you have the technology needed to build a modestly self-sustaining(ie. trade is perfectly ok; but it can't simply be a subsidized tech demo or a tourist-trap for the extremely rich) underwater colony, you almost certainly could use very similar tech to build in all but the most hostile parts of the earth's land area for substantially less money. Or, if the technology is deeply tied to the sea in some way, surface vessels are (comparatively) cheap and easy. That is what drives the point of practicality out even further, quite probably to an undefined point in the future. Not only is the tech Just Not There Yet; but almost every advance in the direction of getting it there will make living on marginal land easier and cheaper even faster than it will make living underwater easier and cheaper.

Since you are immersed in salt water, any sort of agriculture will either involve serious halophiles or highly efficient closed loop freshwater stuff. Hey, look, if you have the tech to manage that in a more or less cost-effective way, you can have your pick of the earth's presently unfarmable deserts, without the cost of pressure resistant naval architecture or the risks of running out of air. Plenty of wind and solar power, too.

If you can generate substantial amounts of electricity, by some workable means, for your little underwater habitat, this implies that you are just an extension cord away from being able to bring large quantities of electricity to whatever coastal region you fancy. Loads of unused or underused coast that would be quite pleasant if you had the energy for some desalination.

Re:Cousteau (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463358)

One interesting problem that they encountered was human waste disposal.

Their first approach was to vent it into the surrounding water directly. They had to stop doing this after the turds started floating to the surface and lingering. Most people don't realize this, but the Red Sea is actually quite calm due to it almost being a lake. These lingering turds posed a health risk, so they had to find an alternative method.

Their next approach was to store the feces and urine in plastic bags. This proved to be a better solution, but often times they suffered from burst bags that spilled their contents all over, a shortage of bags, and stockpiles of bags when a trip to the surface had to be postponed.

The project was canceled at this point, so they never tried any additional methods.

Finally! (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463204)

It's about time we as a species started living in the water a bit more. I don't know why we'd approach underwater homes ahead of living on the surface first. I'm sure you'd get used to the rocking and a giant village on a raft would be great.

thousands of years doing it already (5, Interesting)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463390)

Various Sea Gypsy [wikipedia.org] cultures have been living out their entire lives on the water surface for eons.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31464514)

Yes I'm sure it would be lovely until the smokers who live on a giant oil tanker show up and ruins your day.

Poor Hennessey. (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463216)

It'll all be great until Zissou up and pilfers it while you're out.

seasteading.org (2, Interesting)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463222)

In won't be government agencies that will develop the first successful seasteads (and someday spacesteads), it will be the people trying to get away from them!

Asimov? (1)

celibate for life (1639541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463224)

Isn't there an Asimov short story about an experimental underwater city that needed Government resources to expand while the Government granted all funding to outerspace colonization?

Re:Asimov? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465036)

I recall a story where the One World Government(tm) existed in a floating city that had no propulsion of its own. It just drifted around aimlessly, by design. Not sure if this was an Asimov, Clarke, or some authors work. Its been way too long.

Re:Asimov? (1)

Mark J Tilford (186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465356)

Waterclap

Doesn't get too interesting untill they find Adam (1)

MuscaDomestica (764805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463228)

Then you get the cool Plasmids.

A fad (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463232)

Underwater living causes bends and depressin, becasue of the altered lite. Also if a turtle noks into your wall you will die!!!!!@@!

Rapture? (2, Funny)

thePowersGang (1726438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463264)

I hope to god this doesn't turn into a real life Bioshock... or maybe not, Rapture seems like a cool idea without the Adam mutated splicers.

Re:Rapture? (1)

Krau Ming (1620473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31466190)

If the home comes with a low-interest rate mortgage and a big daddy suit, then count me in.

growing gills, being bait (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463272)

imagining that we'll find some way to 'live' (underwater?, on another planet?) without an atmosphere/land might be easier on the brain than realizing that the winds of change are blowing at gale force, & there is NOWHERE left to hide. that's not to say we cannot be rescued, once we get in touch with the facts of the matters. however, it appears that as a group, we don't know/care enough about ourselves/others to seriously consider the possibilities, as that may interfere with our rapidly declining LIEfstyles.

never a better time to consult with/trust in your creators, who knew these days would arrive. see you on the other side of it? after the big flash.

Where's my frickin... (1)

pisto_grih (1165105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463288)

..flying car? I wont be happy until I can fly home and play Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Where's my frickin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31464790)

..flying car?

I wont be happy until I can fly home and play Duke Nukem Forever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsFfBB2W7IA [youtube.com]

Funny. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463306)

I've dove in that lagoon and checked out the labs they have there. One is used as a hotel that you can book a room in, the other is a lab. It cracked me up that through the window of the research lab I could see a small fish tank with a fish in it.

Unda da sea (4, Funny)

MLS100 (1073958) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463318)

Thank you for that lame song in my head all day.

Re:Unda da sea (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463932)

Glad I'm not suffering alone. The first thing I though was "I wonder if they can build them pineapple shaped?"

Good luck calling 911 (1, Insightful)

bakaorg (870848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463322)

Sounds cool, but I think there are some practical downsides to living underwater.  UPS/Fedex deliveries.  Service calls.  Public utilities (fresh water, sewer, electrical, gas).  General safety in the face of disasters becomes much more of a concern.

Water cooling your servers might be easier--as long as the saltwater doesn't corrode your fittings.

Best leave this to plant growth labs instead of primary living quarters.

Re:Good luck calling 911 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463382)

You're kidding me right?

Deliveries go to a PO box at a nearby port (for now, otherwise in the future you can bet UPS will have subs -- business will adapt). Service calls would be handled by the local techs in the /community/, fresh water will of course have to be shipped in or desalinated, poop will feed the plants (or the kelp, it's the freakin ocean, plenty of things poop in it as-is (including us)), electric comes from whatever the handiest source happens to be (there's always tidal but I would say geothermic will become dominant, it might even drive research for these habitats). Who the hell would use gas down there? Hello, closed space...

Concerning natural disasters I'd probably want to be at the bottom of the ocean during anything you can possibly think of, so long as i'm not sitting on top of one of the many fault lines that are under the ocean. You would be untouched by pretty much anything else short of a catastrophic impact event. Aliens might even miss you when they scan the planet while invading, for all the good it would do!

Watercooling your servers would be a nightmare, salt corrodes such things quickly. It'll be bad enough with the salt water in the air. Would make for a good intercooler for an oil bath of some kind though!

I think it's possible and expect to see it within my lifetime. I just don't think many people will buy in to it but we're not really "there" yet. But we will be.

Re:Good luck calling 911 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463684)

Oh, I forgot. Access to medical facilities will also be limited of course, unless you happen to have a rounded medical staff that happens to live in your underwater habitation complex.

For the future I see one of two things happening: Ambulances as we have now, or fully automated/remotely operated medical facilities.

I have seen the future! Sweet!

Re:Good luck calling 911 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31465226)

And what about if someone suffers a heart attack, stroke, or something else that leaves them incapacitated? If you can't fit them in scuba gear, you can't get them to the surface.

Re:Good luck calling 911 (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465406)

thats easy "isolation pods" ,sarcophagus or whatever you want to call a box with a stretcher (which could be attached to floats)

Re:Good luck calling 911 (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31468168)

> Deliveries go to a PO box at a nearby port

Yes, and then?

> (for now, otherwise in the future you can bet UPS will have subs -- business will adapt).

Just like they've adapted and started delivering to the various research bases in Antarctica?

The thing is, as impractical as an undersea colony would be, it would still be useful -- as a demonstration of some of the reasons why the moon colonies people keep proposing aren't practical.

Re:Good luck calling 911 (1, Insightful)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463388)

Yeah I'm torn between "visionary" and "crackpot." Besides the beautiful scenery, what exactly is the purpose of living underwater? You can't go outside. You won't have any neighbors per se. The whole house has got to be completely self-sufficient, which means expensive and perfect, and you can't make improvements to it. So much for teaching your kids to play baseball or mowing the lawn. And the lack of sunshine is a psychological disaster waiting to happen.

In short, I think you're going to spend the entire time wanting to go to the surface, so you can go shopping, eat at a restaurant, hold down a job, or make friends. Forced exile is useful...how?

Re:Good luck calling 911 (3, Informative)

urusan (1755332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463492)

In the video he specifically addresses these concerns.

It's not an exile. You can go outside into the surrounding sea and to the surface (either by swimming there directly or taking a vehicle).

Not everything needs to be made underwater. Trade between land and sea will be important. The goal is merely to make that capacity available. Furthermore, even if everything is made underwater it won't be a single habitat that is self-sufficient, but rather a whole community of habitats. Friends, jobs, shopping, etc. will be available within the undersea community.

It would certainly be very different, but I'm sure some people will like that a lot. Others may be willing to put up with the differences for other reasons, such as getting away from a government regime they strongly disagree with.

The lack of sunshine issue you mention is a concern, but it does not seem insurmountable. Perhaps a sun lamp and vitamin D supplements would do the trick?

Re:Good luck calling 911 (2)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463658)

The only difference between "crackpot" and "visionary" is the degree of of appeal the crack/vision holds for you.

Re:Good luck calling 911 (1)

Ozric (30691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463908)

The only difference between "crackpot" and "visionary" is the degree of of appeal the crack/vision holds for you.

I am with ya, a few years ago I stated that people would at some point, start living under the water due to cosmic rays and solar radiation concerns. People thought I was a crack pot for suggesting it, I still stand by my statements and think it is a valid line of research.

Crack pot or no, think of the view from your porch.

Re:Good luck calling 911 (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464274)

Yeah I'm torn between "visionary" and "crackpot." Besides the beautiful scenery, what exactly is the purpose of living underwater? You can't go outside. You won't have any neighbors per se. The whole house has got to be completely self-sufficient, which means expensive and perfect, and you can't make improvements to it. So much for teaching your kids to play baseball or mowing the lawn. And the lack of sunshine is a psychological disaster waiting to happen.

So basically you're saying that this will make an almost perfect selection process for future astronauts.

Re:Good luck calling 911 (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464552)

>perfect selection process for future astronauts

Well yeah, exactly. It's when he mentions having kids underwater that I got creeped out.

Re:Good luck calling 911 (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464694)

The more I think about it, the more I come to actually like this scenario.

I live closer to the city, and with some of my neighbors - barking dogs, yelling drunken fights etc. It gets old pretty quick, and having something underwater means it can be as quiet as me and my wife want it to be.

I'm fine with people, but I'd rather come home and not have to deal with neighbors. I know, I could move, but financially right now is not the time to do it.

Re:Good luck calling 911 (2, Interesting)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31468182)

> Yeah I'm torn between "visionary" and "crackpot."

That's a false dichotomy. It's entirely possible to be both.

Pioneers... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463398)

I'm not much of a pioneer, so this 4-person habitat doesn't sound like my thing, but wake me when they've got it up to a few thousand people and internet access and it could be fun to live there.

Moon pool? (1)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463408)

This underwater colony sounds awesome. Would you kindly reserve me an apartment there?

Incidentally - will the moon pool be filled with moon milk [wikipedia.org] ?

Sales Pitch... (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463462)

Yeah, sure it ain't one of those la di da above ground places, but if you like dank... hey forget about it.

use it for a prison! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463490)

then it would be the setting of a crappy "near future" sci fi movie or maybe a decent video game

Anybody Remember Seaquest (1, Informative)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463520)

There was a SciFi series called Seaquest DSV Starring Roy Sheider. TheSub of the title went round patrolling among undersea colonies.
The second season was called Seaquest 2032.

Re:Anybody Remember Seaquest (1)

pommiekiwifruit (570416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464542)

Starring Darwin the dolphin and Wil Wheaton as Wesley, I mean Mathew Waterhouse as Adrick, I mean Jonathan Brandis as Lucas.

Woah, I didn't know he killed himself aged 27 because of the flak over that role (or other reasons). That's really unfortunate. I liked him in it! (and the other two characters I mentioned).

Beneath the surface.. (1)

slashmojo (818930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464748)

lies the future! SeaQuest FTW

Cool show.. except for when it went (way) off the rails on occasion.

About damn time we started colonizing the ocean one way or another.. there's a whole lot of space out there!

below sea level (2, Funny)

scheveningen (305408) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463550)

Having lived below sea level in Holland for the most of my life: duh.

"A new generation of children will be born there & (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463690)

– the first citizens of a new $there civilization"

$there is "space" on even decades, "ocean" on odd?
Except for $there, the mantra seems to have been reiterated unchanged ever since Jules Verne or so.

Rapture? (1)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463702)

I am Andrew Ryan, and I am here to ask you a question: Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his own brow?
No, says the man in Washington. It belongs to the poor.
No, says the man in the Vatican. It belongs to God.
No, says the man in Moscow. It belongs to everyone.
I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose...
Rapture!
A city where the artist would not fear the censors.
Where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality.
Where the great would not be constrained by the small.
With the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city, as well.

Yay! (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463710)

... no more having to mow the lawn.

But... (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464180)

You still have to trim the kelp and de-barnacle the roof.

Andrew Ryan anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463726)

Where the hell is the Bioshock tag guys :)

Global warming solution. . . (4, Funny)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463842)

Here we go - just start replacing current coastal buildings with these, and when the sea level rises 8 or 10 feet, everyone will be ready.

[JohnHodgemanVoice]You're welcome![/JohnHodgemanVoice]

Letting Leviathan loose 1st,and growing from there (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463848)

the first expedition will be initiated by the submersion of the Leviathan

A page right out of the Illuminatus! trilogy. Eye optional?
So for once they let someone work for NASA [slashdot.org] who knows his conspiracy literature. ;-)
Best tongue-in-cheek mission name ever since the obviously Doom-playing Russians calling theirs Phobos [slashdot.org] -Grunt [slashdot.org] .

Hagbard Celine: The sea is crueler than the land, sometimes.
Howard: The sea is cleaner than the land. There's no hate. Just death when and as needed.

Why? (3, Insightful)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463886)

I just can't see the motivation for living underwater, outside of a couple of tiny niches like deep-sea mining or off-shore oil drilling. The latest estimates are that world population will level off fairly soon, and there really is no shortage of land. Even for eccentrics who want to live in isolation near the water, it would probably be cheaper and logistically easier to build a cottage somewhere on the coast line far away from the city.

.

Some people have brought up sea-steading or escaping tyrannical governments, but wouldn't a cruise ships fill that role more effectively at a fraction of the cost? (That's assuming the thinking of the movement is sound. The French are not exactly tyrants, but they had no problem bombing that green-peace vessel in the 80's. If you're rich enough to live in an underwater city, you're probably better off buying your way into to a nice Western Country...)

Maybe I'm missing something. Feel free to fill me in.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463954)

Wouldn't filling you in leave you dammed?

*G,D&R*

Re:Why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463990)

Exactly. It sounds like a real pain in the ass. It might be cool to have an underwater hotel, but I think I would get sick of this after about a week. On the plus side, I wouldn't have to worry about niggers breaking into my house since most of them are afraid of water. Wetbacks - well that's another story. They love to swim, but mostly only in the Rio Grande.

Re:Why? (1)

Hausx (1476747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463998)

Because you can't develop plasmids in the nice Western Countries.

Re:Why? (1)

Faerunner (1077423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464032)

I'm not sure about sea-steading as a reliable way of life but escaping tyrannical gov'ts might be an interesting exercise. As far as I understand, the coastal shelf is in most areas 'claimed' already by one country or another, and I don't think we have the technology to build far enough away from the "shallow" water over the shelves to reasonably escape gov't claims to the area. I could be wrong - I've never seen maps of the sea borders of coastal countries, nor do I know what the laws are regarding owning "land" in areas off the coast, and whether you could declare undeveloped seabed as unclaimed for the purposes of claiming it as an independent nation.

You're really on point there - might as well buy your way into a nicer country, assuming you can find one.

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31464700)

Once you pass outside of 25 miles off of the coast of the US, you are in international waters. You can do whatever the hell you want to, as long as you don't make a nuisance of yourself. Funny, that's how the US proper used to be...

Re:Why? (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465712)

The other thing you could do is unobtainium mining. Since most of the sea floor has not been mined, we could mine for stuff like platinum, gold, indium, and those trendy rare-earth metals. There's also uranium and thorium everywhere and no-one will care if you build a nuclear power plant out there.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464154)

Like moving to another, living underwater might keep you safe from certain mass extinction events on the surface of the Earth.

We could also build a city a few hundred feet under the surface. Wouldn't be able to sustain it without the resources on the surface for quite a while yet, though.

Re:Why? (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464214)

I know, preview... bah, I still wish I could edit slashdot posts. *another planet, of course.

Will it allow me to escape Obamacare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31464910)

DO... NOT... WANT!!!

Obongo: "We're going to make sure every man, woman, and child has insurance, regardless of pre-existing conditions."

Public: "But doesn't that defeat the point of insurance? Isn't that a bit like buying homeowner's insurance after your house has already burned down? Why wouldn't I just drop my insurance, pay the federal fine, and then if I ever really need health insurance just buy it then?"

Obongo: "Insurance companies are evil profit whores, but we're going to pay them directly with tax dollars to add millions of new customers. That will show those greedy motherfuckers!"

Public: "What? That doesn't even make sense."

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31466108)

Well, consider the novelty of, say, an underwater shopping mall. Suppose you have a large, walk-through entrance near the coast, glass everywhere, and you can spend the afternoon in coffee shops, department stores, a park, etc. all while looking up and out and beautiful sea creatures.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31466294)

What makes you think that the world population will level off anytime soon?
The only way I can see that happening is if food production can't keep up. When that happens, we'll just have more wars, starving people, and dead.
Not exactly a good outcome, in my opinion.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31466442)

Birth-rates decrease as living standards go up, which is why Japan and most of Europe are below replacement level. Latest estimate is that the world stabilizes at 9-10 billion.

Woot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463952)

As an avid diver, I think this is totally awesome!

I would be completely down to move in somewhere like this. For my whole life? Of course not. For months at a time - absolutely!
He's right about us trashing the oceans; watching coral reefs bleach and die over the years is incredibly depressing, not to mention the Japanese affinity for whales....

Video was slashdotted, been able to watch a couple minutes so far.

Oblig Simpsons (2, Funny)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463984)

Homer: Stupid Flounders

Re:Oblig Simpsons (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464562)

That line is from S16E15 "Future Drama", where Homer has an underwater flat and his garden furniture is stolen by flounders... Yeah, I'm a nerd...

Re:Oblig Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31467482)

I'm gonna go watch that ep. right now.. Thanks guy!

How is this being financed? (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464036)

They really need to beware of predatory lending practices when financing these habitats... they could very easily become underwater on their mortgage!

Re:How is this being financed? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465146)

Depending where they are, loan sharks may be a big problem.

Giant Sea Monsters! (1)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464056)

Seriously, I'd be afraid living at the bottom of the sea, because of abyssal gigantism (look it up!). This may be a bit irrational on my part, but there's some HUGE monsters, and over time we just seem to discover scarier and huger ones, like Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. Even if it turned out to be perfectly safe, I'd be harboring an irrational fear of these beasts CRUSHING MY HOUSE while I lived there. Yikes!

mm memory serves me (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464348)

James Bond has already dealt with this menace

You have to look with better eyes than that. (2, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464376)

There have been underwater habitats off of key largo for a while now, since the sixties, at least, and from what I've seen (in ads for UW vacations, and a discovery special about a UMD research vessel) they're pretty cramped. Also, they're saturation dives albeit shallow ones.

I wouldn't want to live in anything with a moon pool for the saturation reason alone, leaving out the small space and constant danger. It certainly wouldn't be a good place to raise a family (what would extended saturation dives do for children's developing bones, I wonder.)

Considering the expense and danger, these things will always be just a curiosity. A pretty neat one, though. I wish they'd kept the Abyss set open for dive tourism. That would've been a pretty awesome dive.

Re:You have to look with better eyes than that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31464760)

"Always" is a funy word..

I am living in Dubai with my Chinese wife. We have seen a lot of projects made to show off both here in this country and in the other countries we visit.

"Hydropolis Underwater Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates": http://www.designbuild-network.com/projects/Hydropolis/Hydropolis1.html

That IS a curiosity... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31467468)

Yeah, that's gonna get built.

Dubai is way over-extended, credit wise, and palm jumeira is undersold, let alone the "Dubai World" artificial archipelago. You think there's money for a giant submarine?

In fact, checking the web site, http://www.hydropolis.com/ [hydropolis.com] , it looks like they haven't even broken ground on the brochure.

Could they find a duller host (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31464544)

Don't watch this video late at night. It's a real snoozer.

Cool idea, but what's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31464560)

The bubble house isn't getting any benefit from being in the water. All the resources come from the surface.

Might as well set it on a parking lot. Then it doesn't even need to be airtight.

I really wonder where the waste water goes. Doubtful they're flushing the toilet into the lagoon. Probably has a pipe buried beneath the floor that pumps ......... back to the surface!

Hygiene (4, Interesting)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464668)

The thing they didn't cover very much, is the one thing that is actually most important: hygiene.

Bacteria and especially fungi absolutely thrive under pressure, and a mild case of Athlete's Foot can rapidly become severe, even hazardous as the infection gets worse. Fungal infections were one of the most serious problems onboard the previous endeavors, as they were impossible to eradicate once established in the living areas. Bacterial infections were even more dangerous, as the partial pressure ratio of gases in the atmosphere-and also the bloodstream-effectively doubles, giving the bugs plenty of fuel.

They did touch on the hygiene issue with the shower, but didn't say why other than the obvious reasons? But if you're going to live underwater, under more than one atmosphere, hygiene becomes absolutely vital.

he's patented the key technology (2, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464850)

Dennis Chamberland: "So, the key problem is carbon dioxide scrubbing"

Interviewer: "And you've solved it?"

Dennis Chamberland: "Yep!"

Interviewer: "So, what is it?"

Dennis Chamberland: "I'd lose my patent if I told you."

So, basically, he wants us all to live underwater, paying patent royalties to him. You'll be paying for two gas bills- one to heat your underwater habitat, the other to breathe.

I'd really like to know how someone working on this for NASA managed to get a patent. That patent should be public property.

Re:he's patented the key technology (1)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465142)

1. Patents only last a very limited time. in 40 or 50 years, when people may start seriously looking at this option, the patent on his CO2 scrubber will be long gone. 2. Its been known for a long time that in places where Oxygen is not naturally found, you're going to have to pay for it somehow. Under water and in space, oxygen is not a guarantee, and work must be done to produce breathable atmosphere. Why do you think that work should be done for free? It will either be done by some entrepreneur, who's going to be in it for money, or by the government of the habitat, using your taxes. Only on a planet with its enormous biosphere of oxygen producing plants and huge reserves of land on which to grow them could you have any hope of NOT paying for your breathable atmosphere.

Lose his patent? (1)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465746)

Dennis Chamberland: "I'd lose my patent if I told you."

Can that actually happen?

My understanding was that the whole point of patents is that you could tell everybody about your invention and still keep a claim to exclusive licensing power.

Re:Lose his patent? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31466204)

Indeed. In fact in the patent itself you are supposed to describe the invention in enough detail that an expert in the field could implement it from that description. That's the deal - you get a government-mandated, limited-time monopoly, we get the full details of your invention so we can utilise it when that monopoly ends.

I am not a lawyer or a patent examiner, but it sounds like bullshit to me.

Re:he's patented the key technology (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31465750)

Carbon dioxide scrubbing is already a solved problem. You mix baking soda with quick lime (CaO) and produce limestone. You then heat up the limestone and release the carbon dioxide gas in a closed container.

If he does have a better CO2 capture method, he should use it to capture CO2 from the air, as CO2 + Hydrogen = gasoline.

A new life, under the sea (1)

SoVeryTired (967875) | more than 4 years ago | (#31464922)

Under the sea,
under the sea.
No accusations,
just friendly crustaceans,
under the sea.

I can see it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31465124)

I am Andrew Ryan.....

Another source for the video? (1)

Willbur (196916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31466796)

The video isn't playing for me. Is there another version out there? I found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMCtzuEoOlM [youtube.com] , but it's only a short ad.

Re:Another source for the video? (1)

Willbur (196916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31466832)

Here's a little more. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihoWNnEZ5zg [youtube.com] Again, it isn't a full doco, but it shows what the place looks like.

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