Japan Sets Plans To Build An Underwater City By 2030

From dense jungles to barren deserts, human beings can live in nearly every type of environment – except underneath the ocean. Japan, however, is hoping to change that.

Japan-based construction company Shimizu Corporation has released plans to design floating cities that could function above and below the ocean surface. The brand is working in partnership with Tokyo University and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

Dubbed Ocean Spiral, the sphere would inhabit up to 5,000 people and would include hotels, residential spaces, and commercial complexes, as well as operate as seabed research. Using a number of advanced technologies, the enormous globe would typically sit at the surface of the ocean, but if bad weather hit, the structure would be submerged down the center of an enormous spiral system that plummets to depths of up to 2.5 miles. The helix design would then create a nine-mile-long path to a building on the ocean floor, which would collect rare metals and minerals as a resource development factory.

Japan Sets Plans To Build An Underwater City By 2030 - ClapwayPhoto Courtesy of Shimizu Corp

And there wouldn’t be just one Ocean Spiral – but many, all of which would be able to withstand extreme weather and disasters like earthquakes, which frequent Japan. People could either safely live, work, or visit the futuristic city that’s surrounded by marine life.

“The company in cooperation with many organizations has spent two years to design the project working with technologies we think will be plausible in the future,” said a spokesman for Shimizu, which also has plans to build a floating metropolis and solar power ring around the moon.

To build the enormous globes, the company proposed to use industrial-sized 3D printers, with resin being used instead of other materials like concrete. Microorganisms called ‘methanogens’ will be used to convert carbon dioxide caught at the seabed into methane, the main component of natural gas. As means to generate power in each globe, the variation in water temperatures and pressures between the ocean surface and bottom would be utilized.

It is estimated each Ocean Spiral would cost about a whopping $25 billion. If construction begins soon, the first structure is anticipated to be complete by 2030.