Underwater Cities Like Otoh Gunga Next?

Underwater cities like those depicted in Star Wars and older fiction are being put together slowly, in a piecemeal fashion.

Take Hydropolis underwater hotel in Dubai. Currently under construction, it is expected to cover about 260 hectares.

(Hydropolis underwater hotel in Dubai - sea level view)

It consists of a land station (for greeting guests), a 515 meter-long tunnel with a rail connection and then the main hotel complex sitting on the bottom of the Persian Gulf.

(Hydropolis underwater hotel in Dubai - sea level view)

For those who prefer their underwater dwellings only partly submerged, take a look at the Trilobis 65 Floating Home.

(Trilobis design for underwater living)

The most distinctive feature of the Trilobis is its fully submerged first level, the observation bulb. Like the driving deck and day area above, it offers a commanding and unobstructed view of the sea. Only here, that view begins 10 ft. below the waterline. This is the smallest of the levels, just big enough for six chairs. Built to the same technical standards as tourist submarines, it is a thick glass enclosure that provides a 360 view. So that this area can be used when there's no sunlight, the Trilobis has a ring of 200-watt spotlights, angled away from the observation bulb, to illuminate any sea life swimming directly in front of the viewers.

I've already written about underwater restaurants like the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. And, you can even raise your own food with Self-Propelled Underwater Fish Cages.

Recent science fiction has some great views. In Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, the Gungans live in a hidden city - Otoh Gunga.

(Otoh Gunga - 'tis a hidden city')

From a little further back, I remember the bubble cities from The Eve of Rumoko, a 1969 Roger Zelazny short story.

A huge, illuminated geodesic dome it is, providing an overhead view with which Euclid would have been pleased. For great distances about this dome, strung lights like street lamps line avenues among rocks, bridges over canyons, thoroughfares through mountains. The bottom-going seamobiles move like tanks along these ways; minisubs hover or pass at various altitudes; slick-seeming swimmers in tight and colorful garb come and go, entering and departing the bubble or working about it.

The United States has a relatively low population density, only about 31 people per square kilometer; relatively little pressure to look underwater for additional space. Singapore, on the other hand, has 6,336 people per square kilometer; an undersea city starts to look better.

Read more about Hydropolis and Trilobis; thanks to Moira for the tip and impetus to put this article together.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/15/2009)

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