Underwater suburbia planned in “Aquatica”

Dreamers have been imagining human life undersea for centuries. The most successful in turning that dream into reality have come up with musty, mobile-home-like contraptions tethered to barges or hooked by massive hoses to land where committed marine biologists toil for a week or two.

Aquanaut and bioengineer Dennis Chamberland hopes to expand upon those successes by building the equivalent of suburbs on the sea floor, a region where there is admittedly unlimited space for expansion.

With thirty years at NASA under his helmet, Chamberland’s big-picture vision is dubbed “Aquatica” and he imagines it as the first underwater settlement for “permanent human colonization.”

He’s got the credentials (Mission Commander of seven NASA underwater missions) and is credited with successfully using the ocean as a testing ground for life in space. His Advanced Space Life Support Systems, built for NASA, created safe-living underwater environments for anyone living “off-planet.”

But they were small picture settlements, home to just two to four people.His goal for the past couple decades – while writing science books and sci-fi novels in his spare time – has been to figure out how communities can successfully live underwater for long extended time.

To prove the viability of his beliefs he’s already overseen the growing of crops in controlled settings on the ocean floor and built a two man undersea “habitat” set on the ocean floor off Key Largo, Florida, which has been visited by, among other, James Cameron.

His big hopes are to see the first children born undersea and thus imagines “Aquatica” being home to schools and hospitals as well as a place for ocean research.

He also imagines that if people are living undersea they’ll be better protectors of it, essentially creating “a human colony whose primary purpose is to monitor and protect this most essential of the earth’s biomass.”

There’s got to be a first step to suburban living undersea, of course, which is expected to be launched sometime next year with the lowering to the seabed an underwater house he’s dubbed “Leviathan” … which will initially be home to four people.

Read more from Jon Bowermaster’s Adventures here.

[Flickr image via sindhi]