Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 31 to 52 of 52

Thread: Could a benthic, ocean floor culture develop metallurgy by employing volcanism?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    4,051
    If the NTIs have access to waxes or resins, they could create water-excluding vessels without ceramics or glass.

    I’m not sure that it’s very likely that they would have access to them, though. Biogenic waxes and resins are, to my understanding, evolved (in plants) to prevent water loss, which obviously isn’t a problem that exists underwater. Bees use their wax to create containers that honey can’t soak into (if it wasn’t for the honey, bees would probably just make their larva cells out of paper or mud like wasps).

    Does any known living thing that lives exclusively underwater produce waxes or resins?
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,199
    One problem regarding life forms in subsurface oceans (Europa type) is that we don't know what pressures exist under the ice cap, from open waters down to the solid sea floor. This would be a problem for life form design.

    In addition, vision would be a problem. A creature might have infrared vision near volcanic areas, or a less sensitive/focused sound "vision" like sonar. You have to see what you are working with.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,199
    For that matter, could a subsurface ocean on a non-molten world (one not like Io) have heat vents or volcanism that would help out benthic life?

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,199
    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    And are there any possibilities you can imagine in which a pelagic, or open ocean, culture could become a civilization?
    Intelligent species that do not walk, only swim?

    Dolphins, whales, etc. are considered intelligent, but a civilization of them... "a relatively high level of cultural and technological development "... cultural yes, with fish herding and recording of migrations, adventures, but technical, not so much.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    36,941
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Intelligent species that do not walk, only swim?

    Dolphins, whales, etc. are considered intelligent, but a civilization of them... "a relatively high level of cultural and technological development "... cultural yes, with fish herding and recording of migrations, adventures, but technical, not so much.
    There are mid-ocean cephalopods, so maybe handling tools is not out of the question. What they'd use for tools, however, is a mystery. Fish bones?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,199
    So far as we know, the first tools/weapons employed by humans were rocks. We got picky about the kinds of rocks we wanted, though. Perhaps the first tools employed by an ocean flood culture would be stones or animal bones.

    Perhaps it would be easier for deep ocean-floor life to appear and evolve if they have the equivalent of whale falls to scavenge.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_fall

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    36,941
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    So far as we know, the first tools/weapons employed by humans were rocks. We got picky about the kinds of rocks we wanted, though. Perhaps the first tools employed by an ocean flood culture would be stones or animal bones.

    Perhaps it would be easier for deep ocean-floor life to appear and evolve if they have the equivalent of whale falls to scavenge.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_fall
    But in the case of fully pelagic species, the sea floor may be deep out of reach, cut off by pressure differential.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    4,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    In addition, vision would be a problem. A creature might have infrared vision near volcanic areas, or a less sensitive/focused sound "vision" like sonar. You have to see what you are working with.
    Bioluminescence is an option. There are predatory abyssal fish that use bioluminescent “flashlights” to illuminate their prey. With sensitive enough eyes, it doesn’t take much light to see.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    36,941
    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Bioluminescence is an option. There are predatory abyssal fish that use bioluminescent “flashlights” to illuminate their prey. With sensitive enough eyes, it doesn’t take much light to see.
    /

    But in a world without sunlight to encourage the evolution of eyes, would such luminescence even be a thing?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    4,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    But in a world without sunlight to encourage the evolution of eyes, would such luminescence even be a thing?
    That’s a very good point.

    I’ve thought about it, and maybe? It would require that an individual organism simultaneously have the mutations that enable primitive bioluminescence and light detection. Statistically, this would take a looooong time to happen in a macroscopic creature, but it wouldn’t take one.

    Euglena, single-celled organisms, can see light—it’s useful to them because they’re autotrophs. They swim to the light. Picture a heterotrophic “euglena” that emits light, and swims towards what reflects a little bit of that light back. That’s how it locates potential food.

    From there, you could eventually get macroscopic creatures with camera-eyes. Just give it half a billion years.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    4,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    A creature might have infrared vision near volcanic areas . . .
    Unfortunately, no, this isn’t possible. Water is opaque to thermal infrared. Near infrared (used in some night vision cameras) is an option, if you can find a source for that form of light. A bit of googling shows that near infrared bioluminescence is known to be possible.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,199
    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Unfortunately, no, this isn’t possible. Water is opaque to thermal infrared. Near infrared (used in some night vision cameras) is an option, if you can find a source for that form of light. A bit of googling shows that near infrared bioluminescence is known to be possible.
    Dang, forgot that, my bad. Thank you for the fix. This did make me think more about underwater vision, and how living things could enhance it. I'm inclined to think that sound and pressure detection would augment sight a great deal.

    How would this affect the development of intelligence, though? Now I'm wondering.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,199
    This being a "hypothetical thought experiment" thread and all, we haven't talked a lot about the sort of alien who would use tools and attempt metallurgy on the sea floor.

    My vote is for a long-limbed spider-crab thinger (see illo). The limbs keep the central body/head away from danger (some limbs could aim upward for defense), it could have 2-4 manipulative limbs, it can walk/ jump/ climb/ pole vault.

    Not sure what pressure it could withstand, but in shallow seas it would be fine.

    Any other suggestions for physiology or shape?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    13,685
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Not sure what pressure it could withstand, but in shallow seas it would be fine.

    Any other suggestions for physiology or shape?
    I could be wrong about this, but I always assumed that as long as a creature was born under a certain pressure, the pressure wouldn't matter because the pressure inside and outside its body would be the same. So that a creature born in the deep can have any shape, but if it goes upwards it will have problems.
    As above, so below

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    36,941
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I could be wrong about this, but I always assumed that as long as a creature was born under a certain pressure, the pressure wouldn't matter because the pressure inside and outside its body would be the same. So that a creature born in the deep can have any shape, but if it goes upwards it will have problems.
    As it rises, its shape approaches spherical, then becomes ...many small shapes.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #46
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,866
    I read somewhere that vision can only go slightly into infrared, IIRC because at liquid water temperatures the retina is overstimulated.
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  17. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,551
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    This being a "hypothetical thought experiment" thread and all, we haven't talked a lot about the sort of alien who would use tools and attempt metallurgy on the sea floor.

    My vote is for a long-limbed spider-crab thinger?
    Best not to send an astronaut diver to make contact.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XytVHT5GnWQ

  18. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    36,941
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
    I read somewhere that vision can only go slightly into infrared, IIRC because at liquid water temperatures the retina is overstimulated.
    Among eyes with retinas, yes. IIRC, arthropod compound eyes have less limitations. Mosquitos, in particular.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  19. #49
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    42.798928,10.952804
    Posts
    447
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    How would they get close enough to the molten materials to make tools out of them?
    meh, yes. it's like dreaming of using a tornado to dry one's hair...

  20. #50
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    42.798928,10.952804
    Posts
    447
    for a man like me that used to spend his youth swimming in the sea being lazy on the beach , Aquaman is as disgusting as a "sewage man" for you people who grew up in a big city

    Last edited by Barabino; 2019-Jul-31 at 08:25 AM.

  21. #51
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    42.798928,10.952804
    Posts
    447
    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45
    although what these hypothetical undersea civilisations might do with gold is another matter.
    H.P. Lovecraft spoke passionately of the barbaric jewels of pre-human civilizations (some of them flourishing in Anctartica)



    —the lavas that restlessly roll
    Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
    In the ultimate climes of the pole—
    That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
    In the realms of the boreal pole
    Last edited by Barabino; 2019-Aug-05 at 09:35 AM.

  22. #52
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    42.798928,10.952804
    Posts
    447
    he spoke about that in the Shadow over Innsmouth story:

    http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/...ction/soi.aspx

    it brought in references to strange jewels clearly akin to the malign tiara I had seen at Newburyport. Perhaps the ornaments had, after all, come from some strange island; and possibly the wild stories were lies of the bygone Obed himself rather than of this antique topic.
    Last edited by Barabino; 2019-Aug-08 at 06:50 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •