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In the Future We May Live in Giant Underwater Cities

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With the increasing rate of global population growth, the question of finding alternative places to live is becoming more and more vital. While some are advocating the idea of space colonization, others believe there are still plenty of places to settle on our planet.

For example, a Japanese construction company Shimizu Corp suggests the following unusual concept for the future home of humanity: a giant underwater city called “Ocean Spiral” and powered by energy from the ocean floor.

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According to the company, this design will also help solve the problem of island nations, including Japan, who are threatened by the rise of sea levels caused by climate change.

You may think that the whole concept is nothing more than a crazy fantasy, but Shimizu is already taking actions to implement its plans, in cooperation with researchers at Tokyo University and Japanese energy companies. They say the technology needed to make the underwater city real will be ready within the next 15 years, and the construction itself would require only five years to be completed.

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Now, let’s take a closer look at Shimizu’s design. In essence, it will be a huge sphere of 500 meters (1,500 feet) in diameter located just under the surface of the ocean, which will contain houses, hotels, business and commercial centers. There will also be fish farms and a desalination plant to provide the city’s population with food and drinking water. According to the plan, this futuristic underwater city will be able to house 5,000 people.

How will this giant structure be powered? The Japanese company suggests using natural resources, such as copper and zinc, extracted from the seabed. For this purpose, the sphere will be connected to a 15 kilometer (9 mile) long spiral leading towards the ocean floor, about 4,000 meters deep. There will be a resource development factory that will excavate minerals from the seabed.

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Besides this, it is planned to use carbon dioxide as a source of power. To achieve this, CO2 will be captured from the surface and then converted into methane with the help of microbes called methanogens. Also, the power will be generated through a process called ocean thermal energy conversion, which works using differences in seawater temperatures.

Well, it is certainly an amazing futuristic concept, and if the company manages to get a $25 billion fund – this is the estimated construction cost – from the government and private investors, we may soon witness the birth of a modern Atlantis City.

Images courtesy of Shimizu Corp.

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