San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

If gold were discovered under Osa’s Ocean

Let’s take a tour of one future of Costa Rican oceans.

Deep below Osa, a massive vein of shockingly pure gold lights up screens and an aqua-village mobilizes from port. A diverse team of assembled specialists seize the opportunity the find presents. From biology to geology to zoology, from automation to robotics to video, the entire process adds heaps of new science data. 

Shawn Larkin

Shawn Larkin

High-tech deep suits, propulsion, subs and prefab living pods make the for-profit venture doable with the support of two universities and an eco-mining company. Lasers and robots and remote-operated vehicles, ROVs, extract the gold while hundreds of remote science projects play out around the nation and the world. 

The nearest high school on shore watches the video and info feed from their robot reporter and students take turns driving an ROV, under adult supervision.

The local elementary school kids get to name one hundred new species. It will take months before all the thousands of other less glamorous species are cataloged by bio-prospectors working with InBio. The gleaned genetic blueprints provide medical, engineering, and aqua-cultural insights that last into the distant future.

One of the new ship subs dedicated to science, adventure and media is parked half out of the Pacific, above the deepsea operation. Surface support for the aqua-village below is paid for by visiting science tourists and their organizations, extreme adventure tourists and artists, all commercializing the limits of technology like jet boots, oxygen bodyapps, underwater paints and advanced choreography and music with dolphins. 

The world’s largest media organizations line up for space aboard and guaranteed most popular status. Teams dive under the sea to learn and play with gear and show the world.

Also floating nearby with no anchor, held in place by solar-powered water jets, is one of the famous floating five-blue-star resorts. The pricey rooms with panoramic underwater views and moon pools give access to the big blue. Since the barge moves very slowly when it moves at all, an astounding amount of life has grown and gathered around what is really a giant mobile artificial reef. The fishing is better than anyone has known in centuries. Day trippers from the mainland show up by the hundreds to visit the city on the sea for seafood, sea shopping and sea tours from the well endowed mother ship.

Green technology ensures that that there are no toxic effects for people or the sea. The aqua city even produces energy, cleans up pollution and helps mitigate global climate altering and ocean acidification. All the underwater structures help the ocean produce more seafood and other products than would have otherwise been possible in these waters.

Combined with several other similar operations, the sea cities bring in half a billion dollars a year for Costa Rica and cement the country’s reputation as the top green and blue country in the world.

Certainly the stuff of science fiction, but really not so farfetched. The future of the sea will likely reveal some version of the above somewhere in the world, and hopefully Costa Rica will be surfing the sweet spot of that wave.

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