COULD WE survive underground?

Life has taken shape within the different layers of the Earth closer to the core but away from it towards the crust. It gets too hot as we head towards the core. Life exists in the areas of both the crust and the mantle. Can life survive even deeper? We could survive in the safe zone within the mantle but away from the core. As an analogy, Earth is positioned in a safe zone where it can support life and it is in the zone that exists between the sun and the outermost planet of our solar system. Too close to the sun and we would be fried, too far and we would be frozen. So we are positioned just right. Now don’t you think that we are the chosen ones to have the opportunity to live on this planet? I definitely think so.


We see animals at the bottom of oceans which have wide eyes and are adapted to live in total darkness. They may never see the sun during their lifetime nor even know about it through their abyss experiences. They live in unimaginable depths under enormous pressure. Likewise, deep under the earth in the mantle zone, life do exist in caves in the form of spiders, fish, scorpions, worms, bacteria etc etc.These caves are completely devoid of sunlight. So why not Humans? Can we survive in these conditions? If so, Why not? We could literally light up our subterranean chambers or even use our night vision optics as and when required.


Have we ever tried to live there? Not so far. But our curiosity can take us even deeper. We have seen bacteria and tube worms surviving in extreme temperatures by the thermal vents in deep oceans. As we burrow through Earth heading towards the core it becomes hotter and hotter. Life may exist there too. The tiny particle of space debris we are living on is able to support life in all forms and at various levels of temperature extremes.


As per our physiology, we need sunlight to process our day to day functions. For food we may at some point need to come to the surface. Living like a termite, it is possible to live in both fronts. and in both living conditions. The hardest part is for us to lay the groundwork  for this massive infrastructure development. But nothing is impossible. It can be done. The technology exists today. We have seen tunnel boring machines to channel under oceans and through mountains. If a termite can do it we can too. They even build without any tools. Subterranean living may protect us from the elements where the temperature may be a constant 75 degrees and dark year round. Air circulation is of prime importance here. It will also be a monotonous living. We may have a vast network of superhighways connecting different underground cities. Battery technology would have been advanced by then. The source of power could be from solar which is wirelessly transferred from the surface to underground storage facilities. Food will be imported from the surface. We will save on heating costs as well as cooling costs there by reducing pollution considerably on the surface. Literally we will have zero need for both heating and cooling. We can choose a comfortable level between the crust and the core within the mantle to the temperature which suits us and make our dwelling there. We can maybe come to the surface monthly for a vacation to bask in the sun, relish the sights and sounds and travel the surface. There may be an adaptability period to the sun for our eyes. So the transition form darkness to light need to be planned and gradually introduced. Waste will be reduced considerably since we will adopt the minimalism approach to frugal living. This may help us better our lives and help us breathe easier underground.


How do termites live? How do they build these vast mounts with no hands? Is it their instinct at work? They have no blue prints nor Professional engineers? How they do it is really amazing. When we analyse their termite mount, we see that there have very intricately constructed channels and highways within the mount which may also extend both above and below the surface. These highways serve as pathways to move food, people and also serves as their ventilation system to maintain a constant year round temperature, no matter what the temperature is outside. They also have food storage rooms. As Humans, we need to learn from nature and learn to live with it. Currently, we are doing neither. We have taken the path to destroy it for the sake of profits which benefits only a few. If we continue to go this route, we will bring it to our own extinction.


Insects, plants and animals can teach us a lot. We may be able to replicate nature by adopting the principles which nature is offering us. But we are refusing to accept it nor are we willing to learn from it. We have destroyed countless medicinal plants to forest destruction. We have been conditioned to value synthetic medication when compared to natural Ayurvedic or Homeopathic medications. Concepts which we can learn from nature: For example, a water repelling surface is made water repellent by the structural arrangement of cells in varying fashion. This is just one example. Another one is a Shark’s skin being so smooth to enable it to streamline through water and help avoid early detection from the ripples it may create. This is also a survival strategy without which sharks may not have evolved to this day.


How are we planning to survive as we populate ourselves at such a rapid pace? There will be lack of space, lack of food, polluted air filling our lungs, tons of landfills, and contaminated water. May be the answer is to go underground and live off of it. We may never know. Our next generation may adapt to total darkness and we may continue that trend until we can no longer take that darkness and head towards light. By living in total darkness and heading to the surface for our basic necessities such as food,  sunlight etc, may be the answer. We can thereby live our life to the fullest by living within zones, enjoying the best of both Worlds, one in total darkness and one in light. We may even choose the twilight zone for our pleasure.

Hope to see you underground in one of the cities some day.


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