Our 10 Favorite Replacements for 'Where's My Flying Car?'

Where's My Undersea City?
NEEMO, the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations project, entails sending people to live and work at the underwater lab Aquarius for several weeks at a time. Aquarius is located near Key Largo, Fla. Image courtesy NASA

Authors have speculated about undersea cities for centuries, so where's our copy of "Martha Stewart's Undersea Living"?

The seafloor offers a bounty of natural resources and aquaculture opportunities. Unfortunately, the dangers involved in delving into the oceanic depths rival those of space travel, which partly explains why we've only explored an estimated 3-5 percent of the world's oceans. After all, a successful underwater habitat must withstand the following [sources: Gagosian; NOAA; NOAA; NOAA]:

  • Little to no sunlight beyond 656 feet (200 meters)
  • Dinosaur-on-a-doornail pressures (adding one atmosphere per 33 feet, or 10.06 meters, of depth)
  • Possible earthquakes

In most respects, it makes more sense to drill or farm from the surface and leave the rest to robots.

Nevertheless, and true to sci-fi predictions, some companies today eye international waters as a convenient legal limbo for setting up shop. One designer has floated the idea of a buoyant building, or "waterscraper," extending beneath the waves, complete with tentacles [sources: Florida; Fox]. And for those who prefer citizenship in a self-proclaimed micronation built on the remains of a World War II British sea fortress, the Principality of Sealand beckons.

In short, the future looks bright for sea-based supervillains, a bit dimmer for us landlubbers.