Underwater Balloon Gardens

Not really a prediction, but I can't resist this story about growing strawberries in a really hostile environment.


(Underwater Balloon Gardens)

This is a snapshot of life at one of the world's strangest farms. In the eerie blue light, a diver drifts between underwater greenhouses, where the first seeds of the year – basil, strawberry, lettuce and beans – were planted last week.

The transparent "biospheres" beneath the Bay of Noli, in Savona, Italy, are part of the three-year-old Nemo's Garden project, which aims to find innovative ways of growing crops in places that lack freshwater or fertile soil.

Resembling large balloons, the air-filled structures are anchored to the sea floor and float between 5 and 10 metres below the surface.

Gregory Benford thought about structurally similar lifezones, which were also pods sticking out into a hostile environment - in this case, space.

He puffed heavily as he angled around the bulbous lifezones - huge bubbles extruded from the sleek lines of the Argo, like immense, bruised bodies of parasites. Inside, their opalescent walls ran with dewdrops, shimmering moist jewels hanging a bare finger's width away from hard vacuum. Green fronds pressed here and there against the stretched walls - a sight which at first had terrified him, until he understood that somehow the rubbery yet glassy stuff could take the pokes and presses of living matter without splitting.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/21/2015)

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