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 Implementing Underwater Civilizations

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penumbra espinosa
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Thu May 17, 2012 10:07 pm

i just came with a different approach, but looks like its mandatory to have fire based technnological development, i come with a more crazy solution, that could be plausible, and get a rain of comments. well if its not possible to make an underwater civilization from scratch by realistic methods, well at least add some sci fi to it. im not asking for SPORE, just a less strict position about the game concepts.
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Thu May 17, 2012 10:40 pm

in order to get around construction underwater, what if your race just found a very large cave system?
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Thu May 17, 2012 11:29 pm

PTFace wrote:
in order to get around construction underwater, what if your race just found a very large cave system?
Then you could live there.

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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Fri May 18, 2012 10:37 am

In response to the (much) above: More fire means faster extinction time. You'd need a heck of a lot of weight to get some sort of bubble underwater with enough air to last beyond a couple minutes, and if it were hot enough for any sort of smelting or technological innovation, you couldnt' physically touch it anyway.

Hey, Penumbra, I want to hear it if you have a viable concept. Not because we haven't already tried an alternative underwater tech tree, but because the sci-fi idea that would plausibly allow this is worth putting out there to see if it's remotely possible within game physics. The fact that we can't bend physics now that we've decided to use them in the game means that we're kind of stuck with them.

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penumbra espinosa
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Fri May 18, 2012 3:31 pm

i suggested an advanced simbyosis and domestication of lesser acuatic lifeforms, domestication at a level that would take several thousands, even millions of years to dominate and would lead to living based technnology, biotools, biostructures and bioships as the challenge to reach space.

as example again, some thousands of years ago the human kind domesticated wolfs and bred them until it get the several dog races we have now. this via Neoteny.

so take for example a race of acuatic creatures, which are aware of their environment, and have developed a mutualistic relation with several different lifeforms in their acuatic world. they have domesticated them and bred them for thousands of years, via Neoteny they have created living structures composed of giant mollusk-like creatures which connect each other in a web similar to a nervous or circulatory system. allowing the trasnference of energy like electric wires. some other little creatures have been bred to become like tools.

in a nutshell......."Neoteny taken to the extreme".....
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Doggit
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Fri May 18, 2012 4:04 pm

It is not possible, as I said some time ago that the creatures can create underwater domes connected by a hose outside to allow oxygen to enter? Within these domes can work the various metals. Here is a ( bad ) drawing with paint to make the idea:

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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Fri May 18, 2012 5:09 pm

@penumbra- a good idea, but I'm not sure if the game can handle that, as it's extremely complicated and would take literally millions of years. Dogs are a special case-not every form is so naturally malleable, and not every animal can be domesticated.

@Doggit- and how would they survive in the domes? Remember, this thread is about fully aquatic animals, so even if they do breathe air, they will need water to move about. Your apparatus seems to be a sort of flask:

Which the fire can rest in. The first problem is getting the animal into the flask, ignoring the obvious question of what they possibly have to make the flask out of that is both fireproof and watertight. The second problem is getting the animal out of the flask. But even if you somehow managed both feats, how does the animal move about in the flask, especially with enough care and precision as to not be burned or put out the fire? If it's a fully aquatic animal, movement in here is likely going to be a challenge.

Now, say you want them to have some sort of diving bell for the fire. First off, the fire wouldn't last more than a few minutes, disregarding how an aquatic species obtained it in the first place, in a small bell like the one in this picture:

So even if you somehow have a great material to make a gigantic diving bell out of, the fire can only last so long, and there's the problem, again, of working with the fire, especially in a highly damp high pressure environment where the fire won't burn well. You can't put a hose in to the surface because the water will just rush inwards to displace the air, snuffing the fire. It's just really not workable, whether you have the flask or the diving bell.

Finally, we need to ask the question of why the animals even know about fire, living underwater, and why they go to such great lengths to obtain it, when they can't really observe its properties or run experiments with it without first obtaining it and working with it. See, them actually researching fire and leaning why they might want it is a circular argument unless
-they are already amphibious (in which case this thread does not apply)
-they are shown it by some other species (in which case this thread does not apply)

TL;DR -valiant efforts were made, but it's still not happening.

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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Fri May 18, 2012 7:56 pm

auugh, So many physical problems in our way eh? What if another intelligent species made fire on land, and Your little swimmy dudes saw it, and eventually started learning about fire due to these land guys, made a big underwater dome, and made a tube syestem which went up to land, and they used the energy from the fire on land, by transporting that energy back into the big underwater dome. I practically know the answer:"It's just not possible." But Please consider it for a little while....
So many obstacles in our way, once again I mention.
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Fri May 18, 2012 9:50 pm

MeowMan1 wrote:
auugh, So many physical problems in our way eh? What if another intelligent species made fire on land, and Your little swimmy dudes saw it, and eventually started learning about fire due to these land guys, made a big underwater dome, and made a tube syestem which went up to land, and they used the energy from the fire on land, by transporting that energy back into the big underwater dome. I practically know the answer:"It's just not possible." But Please consider it for a little while....
So many obstacles in our way, once again I mention.
I've really no idea what you're trying to say, but yeah, it's not possible.

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Doggit
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 8:19 am

~sciocont wrote:
@penumbra- a good idea, but I'm not sure if the game can handle that, as it's extremely complicated and would take literally millions of years. Dogs are a special case-not every form is so naturally malleable, and not every animal can be domesticated.

@Doggit- and how would they survive in the domes? Remember, this thread is about fully aquatic animals, so even if they do breathe air, they will need water to move about. Your apparatus seems to be a sort of flask:

Which the fire can rest in. The first problem is getting the animal into the flask, ignoring the obvious question of what they possibly have to make the flask out of that is both fireproof and watertight. The second problem is getting the animal out of the flask. But even if you somehow managed both feats, how does the animal move about in the flask, especially with enough care and precision as to not be burned or put out the fire? If it's a fully aquatic animal, movement in here is likely going to be a challenge.

Now, say you want them to have some sort of diving bell for the fire. First off, the fire wouldn't last more than a few minutes, disregarding how an aquatic species obtained it in the first place, in a small bell like the one in this picture:

So even if you somehow have a great material to make a gigantic diving bell out of, the fire can only last so long, and there's the problem, again, of working with the fire, especially in a highly damp high pressure environment where the fire won't burn well. You can't put a hose in to the surface because the water will just rush inwards to displace the air, snuffing the fire. It's just really not workable, whether you have the flask or the diving bell.

Finally, we need to ask the question of why the animals even know about fire, living underwater, and why they go to such great lengths to obtain it, when they can't really observe its properties or run experiments with it without first obtaining it and working with it. See, them actually researching fire and leaning why they might want it is a circular argument unless
-they are already amphibious (in which case this thread does not apply)
-they are shown it by some other species (in which case this thread does not apply)

TL;DR -valiant efforts were made, but it's still not happening.


I understand. So a civilization completely underwater is not going to progress beyond the Stone Age?
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 10:42 am

Yes.

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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 2:05 pm

Yet we continue this topic? Why? If there is no way past the stoneage, then why bother even with Ideas anymore?
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penumbra espinosa
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 2:28 pm

MeowMan1 wrote:
Yet we continue this topic? Why? If there is no way past the stoneage, then why bother even with Ideas anymore?

because there must be a way to do achieve it, just that we haven't figured it yet...
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 2:31 pm

In Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, an aquatic species becomes civilised and produces technology through a symbiosis with a land species. To what extent would this be possible?
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MeowMan1
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 2:36 pm

Holomanga wrote:
In Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, an aquatic species becomes civilised and produces technology through a symbiosis with a land species. To what extent would this be possible?
I don't know but I just want to say that if there really IS no possible way in real life, then why not add a TINY bit of sci-fi? I mean it can't hurt right, Holomanga?
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 2:49 pm

Holomanga wrote:
In Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, an aquatic species becomes civilised and produces technology through a symbiosis with a land species. To what extent would this be possible?
This would be categorized as being "uplifted".

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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 3:24 pm

ooh....wait, if the species creates their own tech this way, then why would that be considered uplifted? Uplifted is when one species helps another species evolve, Right?
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 4:05 pm

MeowMan1 wrote:
ooh....wait, if the species creates their own tech this way, then why would that be considered uplifted? Uplifted is when one species helps another species evolve, Right?

The land species gives the aquatic species their technology. This is being uplifted. If they then go on to make their own technology from the technology they have been given, then they have still been uplifted initially.

  • As we have already established they can't and have no reason to be able to use fire and thus access any higher part of the tech tree.
  • However, if they are given technology from another species (i.e. uplifted), then they can access fire and so gain access to higher parts of the tech tree.
  • Oh, also there is the method of using selective breeding over an immensely long time, but this is so impractical, difficult, and unlikely, I take it we aren't bothering. There is also the problem of how to contain the organisms in order to domesticate them (bearing in mind the fact that all animals can effectively 'fly away' underwater), and why the species in question would go to such lengths to do so, making it even more absurdly improbable. So this isn't happening, and I hope that's the end of it.


...Is this clear? Please, let this be clear or I will fall into despair!
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 4:24 pm

Yes, all is clear My friend. So I take it we should try to use a plan without fire?
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 4:35 pm

MeowMan1 wrote:
Yes, all is clear My friend. So I take it we should try to use a plan without fire?

As everybody has said in this thread, civilisation is very hard without fire (no metallurgy). Xeonolgy probably has something about aquatic civilisation somewhere.

Watch this space.

EDIT: Oh yes. http://www.xenology.info/Xeno/20.3.2.htm

DOUBLEDIT:

There a quite a few ideas in this section.

The most interesting proposal is electrolysing hydrogen. Robert suggests using either batteries (using seawater as an electrolyte) or enslaved "domesticated" electric eels (or their extraterrestrial analogue). This gives you hydrogen (a potent fuel) and oxygen. Some kind of machine could be set up which electrolises hydrogen then burns it to smelt metals.

Let us discuss this new find.
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 7:07 pm

Oh and discuss it we shall! Great Idea man! Maybe this one is actually possible!
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sat May 19, 2012 9:31 pm

At the end of that page, he refers to a battery electrolysing seawater. For those of you who aren't versed on chemistry, electrolysis uses an electric current to split water into its components-hydrogen and oxygen. The equation looks like this:
2H2O -> 2H2+O2
Very simple. However, this reaction takes a ton of energy. This all needs to come from somewhere, presumably the battery that he mentions, a carbon (graphite)-zinc cell in seawater. I can't seem to find the standard reduction potential for graphite anywhere, So I can't do the maths needed to figure out how much voltage it would produce, but it does work, here's a video.
The problem is that to make a battery do anything at all, you have to specify where you want the current to go. Underwater, you'd have a ton of trouble doing this- you'd need insulated metal wires, which you couldn't have because you can't work metal. Above all, I would estimate you'd need hundreds or thousands of small cells to generate enough current to electrolyse water, and then you'd need to figure out what to do with the oxygen and hydrogen that you produce.
The point is that the species in question would need to discover and do all of these things by accident. You have to make the assumption that they somehow knew that by inventing batteries (nearly impossible underwater in the first place because current is going to be dispersed everywhere so you'd never know what was happening), inventing insulated wires (again, requiring metallurgy that they do not have), discovered how a circuit works, and discovered that they can electrolyse water, while somehow not being electrocuted themselves. It's mind-blowingly improbable if it's even possible at all, and I haven't even mentioned that they somehow know that hydrogen and oxygen gases explode under the right conditions. It's conceivable that if they had the two gases that they could figure this out, but they first have to jump all of those other hurdles.

Also, there's no way in hell that an electric eel is going to provide you with a stable source of voltage, but again, a valuable effort.

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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sun May 20, 2012 7:13 am

But most of those hurdles would only apply to an AI species. A player who knew about electrolysis would have no knowledge-based hurdles to making hydrogen (they would know about Carbon-Zinc batteries, they would know that you can split up H and O, etc.), so for a player race the onloy problems would be the physical ones (how do you get insulatedwires? and other questions).

It seems to all boil down in the end to 'how do you waterproof things with stone age technology without leaving the water?'.
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sun May 20, 2012 10:22 am

Weel see Your species would not know about it in the game, because they haven't gone to school or any of that because they haven't gotten past the stone age, which in real life YOU have, but in the game Your species has not indicating that it would be impossible for that species to know about this stuff yet. So Sciocont is actually right.
Sorry Holo, but It really does boil down to what You said though.-From Shane.
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PostSubject: Re: Implementing Underwater Civilizations   Sun May 20, 2012 11:13 am

It's true that you could build this using the TE, but again, you wouldn't have the required function parts.

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