Another week, another research project. I have been into “seasteads” lately. It started while working on the final story of Population Morpheus, my upcoming book of shorts wherein I needed to look into structure built on high seas, housing solutions on water ets. Which led me to seasteads and then to today’s post. What is a seastead, you may ask? So here goes–
The Word: seastead or sea-stead (not an official “dictionary” word)
1. A floating artificial structure designed to accommodate permanent residents on the ocean
2. A permanent dwelling constructed at sea, outside the territory claimed by any nationalgovernment.
Seasteading is the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territory claimed by the government of any standing nation. Most proposed seasteads have been modified cruising vessels. Other proposed structures have included a refitted oil platform, a decommissioned anti-aircraft platform, and custom-built floating islands.
No one has created a state on the high seas that has been recognized as a sovereign nation, although the Principality of Sealand is a disputed micronation formed on a discarded sea fort near Suffolk, England. The closest things to a seastead that have been built so far are large ocean-going ships sometimes called “floating cities”, and smaller floating islands.
The term combines the words sea and homesteading. At least two people independently began using it: Ken Neumeyer in his book Sailing the Farm (1981) and Wayne Gramlich in his article “Seasteading – Homesteading on the High Seas” (1998).
Here’s a link to the Seasteading Institute, should you need research on the subject.
The Place: Maunsell Forts, UK
Look at those and tell me you’re not intrigued. At first glance they reminded me of the Imperial Walkers, those giant mecha from “The Empire Strikes Back.” Remember those at the Battle of Hoth? Of well, let me just show you a clip.
Okay, now back to the Maunsell Forts.
The Maunsell Forts were small fortified towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom. They were operated as army and navy forts, and named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. The forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s and later used for other activities including pirate radio broadcasting. One of the forts is managed by the unrecognised Principality of Sealand; boats visit the remaining forts occasionally, and a consortium called Project Redsands is planning to conserve the fort situated at Red Sands.
There were both Army forts and Naval style forts. The ones pictured above is the “Army” style.
The Something Else: Cool App from Florida International University
Since I was researching seasteads, I went on to think that such steads will be great solutions to relocate people if in case the sea levels really rise dramatically by 2030. Which led me to look into sea levels and I came across this app below. Although it works only for Florida now, it is a fun app.
So, here’s the web app from Florida International University – Sea Level Rise Toolbox. It shows the possible impact of a 6-foot rise in sea levels. You can input an address to see how it will fare with the rise in sea levels.
It is cool–people on both sides of the climate change fence will get a kick out of it. I think. Cheer it or put it down, there’s fun to be had.