Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Human Aquarium

Large plexiglass cube in the ocean
  [vote for,

In the shallow waters of the ocean off the coastline, the water depth ranges from 50-100ft. Well, at least here in Texas is does. On my fishing trips in the gulf, I've always wondered how the ocean looks from the bottom, but without having to scuba dive or get in a submersible. If only there was a way to remove the water in, say, a square, so I can walk around on the dry ocean floor and have a look at all the fish and sea creatures without getting wet.

Perhaps a giant cube of plexiglass or similar tough material could be constructed in a bay, floated out to sea, and upon reaching the target destination, anchor the bottom with weights.

The weight could be added in shipments through the roof to the floor of the cube. Of course, this wouldn't be the only thing keeping the cube from floating away. Anchors would be drilled deep into the ocean floor to make sure it doesn't get swept away by currents or hurricanes. Bilge pumps just in case.

The cube wall itself is supported from the crushing weight of the ocean by a grid of support beams. On these support beams different floors could be added. Depending on the strength of the plexiglass and the beams, fewer beams would be needed in order to facilitate the view.

The roof will need to be several feet above the water to keep tides and waves from spiling over. I'd say at least 30-40 feet. Not to say it wouldn't be watertight in the first place. For safety reasons, levels above water will require enough room to house the max capacity of the cube underwater. Rooftop would have a few heli-ports, and docks for boats.

Marketing this cube would be the first "restaurant at the bottom of the sea", or the first hotel at the bottom of the sea. Various levels could house shops or mini-parks. Some could be built as hotels/apartments in the sea for off-shore oilfield workers, fisherman, etc.

In addition, ocean current-powered tubine generators or a similar invention can be added to the walls for electricity, to obtain "free" energy.

Fish would be delighted to think somebody finally caught humans and put them in aquariums for all fishes to enjoy. Imagine their happiness, and all the fish that would come to see the humans in the aquariums.

destructionism, Jul 31 2004

Red Sea Star http://www.aquagall....php?Project=redsea
Underwater Restaurant [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Underwater Observatory http://www.coralwor.../eilat/observatory/
[Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Newport underwater tunnel http://www.aquarium.org/thedeep/
[Klaatu, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Psalms Man-Made Island Resort Complex http://www.invention.com/sutter.htm
This guy'll sell you one as a kit. [Ander, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Hydropolis http://www.hydropolis.com/homepage.html
Hydropolis, an habitat will materialise for the first time worldwide which sets completely new standards with respect to the quality of experience and living. Hydropolis provides an ambience in the last uninhabited frontiers on earth in which a visit will be an unforgettable experience in the life of each individual guest. The distinctiveness of this unique hotel resort results from the harmonic interaction of the exceptional site as well as to the holistic architectural and atmospheric composition corresponding to the site. This creates a spatial effect which detaches the guest from the routine of his daily structures of perception and evokes unaccustomed sensual impressions. Hydropolis is a splendid refuge far away from the stress factors of everyday business life and is ideally suited for guests from top management seeking to regenerate their inner strength. [django, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Underwater resorts and habitats http://ussubs.com/habitats/index.php3
Several of this kind of projects are being planned. [django, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

This one looks nice http://www.poseidonresorts.com/
[django, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

World's First Underwater Hotel http://www.popsci.c...004eecbccdrcrd.html
More from Popular Science magazine about the Poseidon Mystery Island in 40 feet of water in a 5,000 acre coral lagoon located in northeastern Fiji. [jurist, Feb 17 2007]


       Underwater observatories exist, although they often have windows rather than entirely transparent walls. Maybe because there's less surface area to keep clear.
Amos Kito, Jul 31 2004

       True. But if it was only plexiglass, pyrex, whatever, wouldn't it be much easier to scrape off the barnacles and algae?
destructionism, Jul 31 2004

       Seeing this concept and Texas together made me think of the Submarine Stage at Aquarena Springs (San Antonio area). A rather odd place by the time I went there. The only amusement park ghost town I'd ever seen.
half, Jul 31 2004

       There's alot of attractions in Texas that are ghost towns at certain times of the year. Moody Gardens in Galveston is one of those. During the wnter months, you're lucky to even be in the same room as another person.
destructionism, Aug 01 2004

       I thought the main excuse for this idea was that having we, humans, captured all those submarine creatures in glass boxes up in the surface, it's only fair that their relatives have a chance to entrap us down there too. Or, at least, exhibit us as foreign, yet strange, creatures.
Pericles, Aug 01 2004

       Of course humans need to have a reason to be there. Since this is being read by humans it's reasonable to make them think it's not really an aquarium for them.   

       signed, ---The Land Shark, err, destructionism.
destructionism, Aug 01 2004

       (No, I mean ghost town as in rides/attractions that are no longer in use and falling in to disrepair. The university bought the place and was in the process of converting it to an educational and research facility.)
half, Aug 01 2004

       A cube was just the first thing to come to mind. A cylinder is a better choice for pressure. Numerous reasons why a cylinder would be better. A more realistic view would be achieved.   

       So lets say I use a cylinder. The cylinder itself could be made in stages, say 1 floor each, aside from the top and bottom which would basically be caps for the tube. The pieces are brought out to the location, assembled one by one, like sucker rod out of an oil well. Gradually they are weighted more and more to sink with the added bouyancy. Each level could be sealed to provide redundancy. A good description could be a tower in the water. Guy wires attached to the top to keep it from going anywhere.   

       I really don't see why plexiglass wouldn't hold up. The view shouldn't be distorted much. Big aquariums have 4-6 inch thick walls. No distortion at all. And why would it have to be tapered? Why not the same thickness from top to bottom?
destructionism, Aug 01 2004

       <beavisbuttheadvoice> math. heh. cool. </beavisbuttheadvoice>
xclamp, Aug 01 2004

       I would simply use the same thickness all the way through. The implications of tapering such an object would be more hassle than the savings you would have for material.   

       I don't really understand your math. How did you get 2000 tons and the 180mm thickness. 180mm is approx. 7in, and that's more than reasonable for a structure such as this.
destructionism, Aug 02 2004

       In the Viking Museum in Roskilde, Denmark, there is a display of very old Viking ships that were discovered at Skuldelev in the Roskilde Fjord. They were recovered from the soils beneath fairly deep waters through the building of a box made of interlocking pile-driven steel planks that extended from the surface to well beneath the floor of the fjord. The recovery team then pumped all the water out to carry on the meticulous recovery work in dry conditions.
bristolz, Aug 02 2004

       [bwv61] You and me both. I think it's time the fishes had pets too. They could see how we interact, eat, sleep, and work. I wonder if they would be attracted to something like this.
destructionism, Aug 02 2004

       Or Marlins harpooning the acrylic and getting stuck.
destructionism, Aug 02 2004

       I guess I can forget my meat-flakes idea.
destructionism, Aug 02 2004

       Quick Google teaches us that there are at least 20 large scale investments under way, this very moment, all concerning the creation of underwater resorts, restaurants, casino's, and habitats. [links]. Most of those are made of acrylic tube-parts.
django, Aug 14 2004

       I like the premise of the idea in a perfect world.   

       Air flow would be a serious problem. A lethal problem. That could be fixed though, the same way they do it for deep seas mining operations. Big expensive air pumps.   

       You should call your theme park Atlantis. The reason why I'm sending this idea back to the fishes is this. It would put a great deal of people's lives at stake just for a pretty view. If that is what you're after why not put large windowed resturants inside dams viewing the underwater-side out?
Around TUIT, Aug 14 2004


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