Tag Archives: Seabed

Japan’s Underwater City

Japan’s Underwater City

A Japanese construction firm with a penchant for pie-in-the-sky projects has a new plan: an underwater city. The Shimizu Corporation, a prominent builder that once pitched a space hotel, has proposed an undersea spiral off the coast of Japan that would stretch 2.8 miles (4.5 km) down to the sea floor. A habitable zone would be situated in a massive sphere just below the surface, and energy would be generated by thermal energy conversion and by using micro-organisms to turn carbon dioxide into methane. However, the company says the required technology won’t be ready for another 15 years. More… Discuss

Japan Finds Rare Earth Elements in Seabed

Japan Finds Rare Earth Elements in Seabed

Japanese researchers have discovered an estimated 100 billion tons of rare earth minerals in the Pacific Ocean floor. These minerals are a vital component of many hi-tech devices, including hybrid cars, flat-screen TVs, iPods, superconductors, lasers, missiles, night-vision goggles, and wind turbines. Currently, China produces 97 percent of the world’s rare earth metals. In recent years, it has cut export quotas, citing environmental concerns and domestic demand. This has led to accusations of strategic hoarding and price gouging. If recovering the minerals from the seabed proves commercially viable, the deposits could expand the world’s reserves 1,000-fold. More… Discuss