How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizations?

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How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizations?

Postby Sleeper » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:50 pm UTC

Some science fiction has intelligent aquatic aliens flying through space.

Apart from being brought into space by another species, how could an alien race plausibly develop spaceflight?

To them, land exploration would be a cross between what deep-sea diving and space exploration is for us. They're out there in a void, yet still on their own planet. It's hard to imagine how a species similar to whales, dugongs, or mer-folk would colonize or even explore the land.

Living underwater, development of any significant technology would be difficult. How do you design a circuitboard underwater? How could you discover electricity? You would never even discover fire or the wheel.

(On the other hand, are there technologies that are better suited to an aquatic environment?)

How would being aquatic affect the alien attitude toward space? What if, like most deep-sea species, the aliens had poor vision? What if they relied on echolocation? Would they be less likely to develop a fascination with the stars, being unable to see them?

Almost all spacefaring science fiction skips over the fact that outer space is poisonous. Everywhere in outer space, one encounters cosmic rays and other forms of radiation that would make extended space flight very hazardous.

Would aquatic beings find space-flight safer than air-breathing animals because aquatic creatures' ships would necessarily be filled with water, thus surrounding them with a natural radiation shield?
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:03 pm UTC

I think that the main barrier to overcome is into the air/atmosphere - once that has been overcome, it's just a simple application of brute force to get into space! (I exaggerate, but this is the way I see it).

I think this thread could use a good example creature to attempt to put into space. Perhaps the Octopus? The examples you put are air-breathing, and in two examples evolved from land animals (the latter of course are the result of Intelligent Design by Neptune).
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:56 am UTC

Yeah, I guess you'd need to define where the 'divergence' starts. I mean, do we assume that life mostly evolved the same way it did here? If so, you'd need to start from something like a dolphin and ask how it would develop civilization and science. If the divergence is earlier, then both the animal and its progress toward civilization are hypothetical.

I don't think fire and the wheel are inherently significant. They're just useful ways of manipulating forces in the terrestrial environment. I think there would be similar tools underwater and ways of applying them - say, instead, pushing things to the surface to dessicate them, or the wing for transport.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby idobox » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:28 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:I don't think fire and the wheel are inherently significant.

Fire is totally central to human technology. Without it there would be no metallurgy and very little chemistry, our entire materials technology relies on heating, and comes initially from fire. By the way, underwater chemistry is going to be a nightmare, even if you find how to heat stuff.
Breaking the surface barrier won't be the hardest, by far, since many aquatic animals are able to survive outside water for minutes, a bit like mammals diving. Octopuses, for example, are known to crawl out of their tank to prey on things living in other tanks.

To get space faring technology, you're going to need metallurgy, at the very least, so a reliable source of high heat. Volcanism could be a source, but I don't know if it can reach the temperatures needed to process interesting metals.
Other forms of chemical energy could be used, but I fail to imagine how a substance that could react exothermically in water could be stable enough to accumulate.

Bottom line, it's going to be very hard to end up with technology resembling ours for an underwater species. An easy work around would be for the initial technology to be acquired from another species, and then developed upon.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Sleeper » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:06 am UTC

A good example species might be the squid or octopus. The smarter Cephalopods are probably the world's most intelligent invertebrates. They diverged from us a much longer time ago than chimpanzees, elephants, and cetaceans did, so they're much more distinct. Squid are probably the closest thing we'll see in our lifetimes to alien intelligence.

Copper Bezel: I think it makes the most sense to assume that these life-forms evolved on their planet in much the same way that we evolved on ours. There doesn't seem to be any other plausible account for the origin/progression of species than evolution.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Sleeper » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:21 am UTC

Something else I just thought of: We humans use an underwater environment to simulate outer space for astronauts in training. Underwater is the closest thing we can attain to weightlessness in Earth's gravity well, apart from brief trips on a vomit comet.

So is it likely that an aquatic species, once it had built an aquatic environment in outer space (such as a water-filled space station or ship), would adapt more naturally to it than humans do to our airy outer-space environments? Maybe for them, weightlessness wouldn't be so disorienting and nauseating.

The extreme difficulty of underwater metallurgy is a tough hurdle to pass to be able to reach a launch phase, though. And if you're underwater, where do you launch from? And how do you burn your rocket fuel? Maybe any underwater species would have to be more technologically advanced than we are now to be able to get into space--for example, they might need anti-gravity.

Or maybe they would have to develop amphibiousness to do most of their chemistry and all of their rocketry. But I'm more interested in a strictly aquatic species.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:15 pm UTC

Well, an aquatic species can develop "Stone-Age" tools just as well as we did. Sharp flint, shells, spears made out of some coral - it's all available. They just miss out fire at that point.

We used these tools for defense and to hunt. And to kill each other. A decent way of getting large cut stones could make a defense against large predators. And the tools can kill large animals, such a whale-sized things.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby idobox » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:44 pm UTC

Sleeper wrote:The extreme difficulty of underwater metallurgy is a tough hurdle to pass to be able to reach a launch phase, though. And if you're underwater, where do you launch from? And how do you burn your rocket fuel? Maybe any underwater species would have to be more technologically advanced than we are now to be able to get into space--for example, they might need anti-gravity.

If you have the technology to think about space travel, you probably have the technology to do underwater metallurgy. And as humans use many wet processes, it is possible an underwater species would create dry spaces to engineer stuff. The tricky thing is to transition from stone age to bronze age.
And rockets carry both fuel and oxydizer, and wouldn't really mind being underwater. Friction, buoyancy and waves at the surface might be bigger issues.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

I don't recall the novel, but I remember reading some sci-fi that includes an alien species with very advanced mathematics, but very limited technology, because of how much technology is fire based. I found this a bit reachy, insofar as how much mathematics was advanced due to observations of space.

A sufficiently advanced aquatic civilization might develop combustion based technologies over time, and simply develop work arounds for the fact that water is an excellent conductor of heat/electricity, or learn early on how to engineer water evacuated chambers. That said, an aquatic race is probably going to have strikingly lower evolutionary imperative to
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:53 pm UTC

Perhaps an airproof container, taken from the surface, might offer similar advantages to the storage of water on land. You could dry things in it?
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Sleeper » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:22 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Perhaps an airproof container, taken from the surface, might offer similar advantages to the storage of water on land. You could dry things in it?


Of what use would that be? (I'm sure there are plenty of uses, but can't think of any just now).

You couldn't start a fire or do internal combustion in an underwater air pocket, at least not for very long. You'd need air circulation.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby idobox » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:42 am UTC

Sleeper wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:Perhaps an airproof container, taken from the surface, might offer similar advantages to the storage of water on land. You could dry things in it?


Of what use would that be? (I'm sure there are plenty of uses, but can't think of any just now).

You couldn't start a fire or do internal combustion in an underwater air pocket, at least not for very long. You'd need air circulation.


At least, you could keep water soluble chemicals separated, or let stuff dry
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:49 am UTC

Huh, come to think of it, building a waterproof pool above ground could provide shelter from predators below the waves.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Giallo » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:13 am UTC

About space exploration, don't forget that they would need to fill (at least partially) their spaceships with water, so they'd need much much more energy to lift into space.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:20 am UTC

Giallo wrote:About space exploration, don't forget that they would need to fill (at least partially) their spaceships with water, so they'd need much much more energy to lift into space.

not necessarily, for example if each individual was suited to (if aquatic air-breather) stay wet, or (if water breather) supply water to survive. If the species could build a space ship, I'm sure they could build suits like that, and the rest of the ship could be air.
In fact I'd assume the first scientific endeavours of technologically advanced aquatic beings would be an exploration of the land (assuming there was land to explore) so they would already have some sort of "reverse SCUBA" and land based locomotion.
the land based locomotion would probably be an evolution of technological underwater locomotion.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby idobox » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:49 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Huh, come to think of it, building a waterproof pool above ground could provide shelter from predators below the waves.

It is conceptually the same as land animals building underwater habitat to protect ourselves from predators. In real life, we use walls, which are easier to build, and won't kill you in case of a leak.
That being said, this kind of habitat would be useful to exploit land resources, including that precious oxygen rich, dry atmosphere.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:20 pm UTC

The step I'm finding myself concerned with is how you get dolphins farming. By comparison, the rest almost takes care of itself. (Again - by comparison.)

There's that game in the What If threads of combining all the scenarios so far into one, and I can't help reading this topic as, "how would the science of an aquatic species develop on a real water world with impenetrable cloud cover which was in the process of suddenly being transmuted into gold?"
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby PM 2Ring » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:14 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:"how would the science of an aquatic species develop on a real water world with impenetrable cloud cover which was in the process of suddenly being transmuted into gold?"


I'm not sure, but I suspect that it would involve the development of exploding arrows that travel backwards through time.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby idobox » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:54 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:The step I'm finding myself concerned with is how you get dolphins farming

To get any technology understandable by humans, you need a prehensile limb. The octopus is a better candidate.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby sam_i_am » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

idobox wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:I don't think fire and the wheel are inherently significant.

Fire is totally central to human technology. Without it there would be no metallurgy and very little chemistry, our entire materials technology relies on heating, and comes initially from fire. By the way, underwater chemistry is going to be a nightmare, even if you find how to heat stuff.
Breaking the surface barrier won't be the hardest, by far, since many aquatic animals are able to survive outside water for minutes, a bit like mammals diving. Octopuses, for example, are known to crawl out of their tank to prey on things living in other tanks.

To get space faring technology, you're going to need metallurgy, at the very least, so a reliable source of high heat. Volcanism could be a source, but I don't know if it can reach the temperatures needed to process interesting metals.
Other forms of chemical energy could be used, but I fail to imagine how a substance that could react exothermically in water could be stable enough to accumulate.

Bottom line, it's going to be very hard to end up with technology resembling ours for an underwater species. An easy work around would be for the initial technology to be acquired from another species, and then developed upon.


I'll bet the fictional aquatic space-faring species is laughing at your suboptimal notion that volcanism and metallurgy are necessary for space travel.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:34 am UTC

Yeah, I'm sure they could handle it by their own means.

Seriously, though, how does one construct a spacecraft without metalwork?

idobox, I know that hands are a problem. I hope you got the mental image, as I did, of the poor dolphin trying to drag along a plow on the seabed with its suddenly ineffectual little flippers. But you don't get spaceflight without communal and social behavior, either. (Which brings us back to the question of just what this vaguely aquatic species is, which seems important in determining much anything else about it. How it solves any problem has to depend on the tools it has at hand. No pun acknowledged.)
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby PM 2Ring » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:28 am UTC

I'm dubious about dolphins or similar aquatic creatures developing much in the way of technology without assistance. However, I don't believe that hands are essential: insects can do all sorts of neat stuff, primarily using their mouths.

Of course, if we permit our aquatic spacefarers telekinesis, then lack of hands is no impediment. :)

As for construction materials, certainly, it's difficult to purify or working metals underwater. Even if they had access to an undersea volcano, I can't imagine it being easy for them to utilize such a heat source without cooking themselves. But perhaps they could do something with ceramic-like materials. Concrete that sets underwater exists, and although we use high temperature processes to produce cement, it's not implausible that such things could be made using biochemistry. After all, our bones and teeth are produced using low-temperature reactions.

IIRC, Brian Aldiss wrote a story involving aliens that used their own excrement as a construction material: it set into a very tough ceramic-like material. They made their dwellings from it and also their spacecraft. They weren't aquatic, per se, but they may have been amphibious, or with a recent amphibious ancestor.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:55 pm UTC

It should be pointed out that there are fish that 'farm'. I can't find the species now, but I remember from Planet Earth, a critter that 'plants' some kind of algae maybe, and maintains a plot of land.

'Farming' isn't a trait unique to humans; leaf cutter ants have been doing it for way longer. So, farming itself isn't enough of a push to develop tools or culture or whatnot.

Tool use is a probably legit first step. Aside from hiding in found objects, do octopodes do anything neat?
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Armanant » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:44 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:Of course, if we permit our aquatic spacefarers telekinesis, then lack of hands is no impediment. :)


Nice example of this one is the Liir from the Sword of the Stars game series. The bits of how they evolved into a space faring race in the first place might be a bit thin (and I don't recall off the top of my head, sorry), but the wikis for the two games have a lot of lore on them, so it might be a good place for ideas:

http://sots.rorschach.net/Category:Liir
http://sots2.rorschach.net/Liir

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby krogoth » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:30 am UTC

Octopi seem extremely good candidates for this. Problems being weak vascular system and a short lifespan, (if they got out an jogged more maybe they would live longer :P ), there are many reasons they would be thought of as smart, obviously they have good spacial awareness and recognition of objects, unlocking cages and even climbing from one tank to another to eat the fish.

I wonder if anyone had tried to breed longer living octopi to see how much they can learn

http://news.softpedia.com/news/10-Amazi ... 8466.shtml
important parts
Spoiler:
Octopuses are solitary and the young must take care of themselves soon after hatching, using a learning process not based on direct transmission. The speed of learning is amazing: an octopus learnt by itself in about 12 minutes how to get off from a cage. The next time it was put in the cage, it went out in 90 seconds! This means analysis ability and an amazing memory. Octopuses have two memories, one cerebral (located in their brain) and one linked directly to their cups.

All scuba divers know how curious octopuses can be, a clear sign of intelligence.

Octopuses live just 3-5 years, a fact that limits their abilities of accumulating information. Many believe that if octopuses had lived more, they would have been the dominant intelligence on Earth.
The octopus's eye is the most complex amongst invertebrates, very similar structurally and functionally to the human eye.

They have three hearts, but the vascular system is weak and lifespan short.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby idobox » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:35 am UTC

I'm a big fan of octopuses, but their eyes are not the most complex, looks for mantis shrimps, these critters have incredible eyes.

A crucial issue with octopuses is that the mother dies soon after the eggs hatch, making trans generational transmission of knowledge, and therefore culture, impossible. Social octopuses would be frighteningly intelligent and capable, and would be the perfect candidate for developing technology.
And as voracious predators that are quite vulnerable to bigger predators, because they lack speed and claws, they would be in a situation comparable to early hominids, who had to develop weapons and hunting techniques to kill big and dangerous animals.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:29 pm UTC

idobox wrote:I'm a big fan of octopuses, but their eyes are not the most complex, looks for mantis shrimps, these critters have incredible eyes.

I'm not sure why this is relevant? We homonids have relatively poor eyesight. Our big visual boon was decent color vision, but we're nothing to write home about. Mantis Shrimp DO have astoundingly good eye sight, I'll grant you, but I'm not sure how that's immediately pertinent to sapience or tool use.

idobox wrote:A crucial issue with octopuses is that the mother dies soon after the eggs hatch, making trans generational transmission of knowledge, and therefore culture, impossible.

Yeah, interestingly, even if you don't have breeding seasons (so there are adults around to interact with the youth), I think reproductive style is going to be the most important thing in allowing the rise of tool use. We can pretty much ignore all species that don't rear offspring. Actually, I think the 'lay eggs and then immediately die' form of rearing isn't necessarily problematic if part of a communal life style means pre-reproductive individuals (juveniles I suppose) are constantly rearing new youths. This form of reproduction could potentially be even more nurturing towards initial tool use and culture development than what *we* do, as there is strikingly reduced incentive to compete with neighbors. Of course, as war technologies pushed a great deal of our own advances, it stands to reason that a perfectly non-violent species may need a bit of pushing to research 'ways to make things explode better'.

SO, that's another possibility; constant threat of very dangerous predator.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:35 pm UTC

Well, that or have fathers raise the baby octopuses. I suppose that if there were groups of male octopuses forming communities to raise young, these communities could lead to conflict between them!
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby idobox » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:43 pm UTC

My small rant about eyes is a reply to a line of krogoth's comment, about octopus eyes being the most complex on invertebrates. But that's not really important for sapience,.

Fathers could bear the children, but it is much less likely for other individuals to do so, simply because it doesn't select much for their own genes. Close family benefits from rearing youngs, but with the mother dying, there can't be older siblings, and if the fathers don't stick around, there won't be any half-siblings, so the closest family will be aunts, sharing only 25% genome.
It is far simpler to assume parents would rear their youngs, as it is done in almost every species, at least as a gateway to a more communal way of life, and sharing of resources.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:04 pm UTC

Sure, and you're right about that. I was just trying to work with the material we have :)
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:19 pm UTC

idobox wrote:It is far simpler to assume parents would rear their youngs, as it is done in almost every species, at least as a gateway to a more communal way of life, and sharing of resources.

Eusociality?
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby idobox » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:38 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
idobox wrote:It is far simpler to assume parents would rear their youngs, as it is done in almost every species, at least as a gateway to a more communal way of life, and sharing of resources.

Eusociality?

Parents rearing their youngs is simpler, but not the only solution. Except for the termites, all eusocial insects are hymenopteres, and have 75% shared genome with their sisters, unlike 50% for most other species. Eusociality is a possibility, but it's apparition in large animals is complex to justify, especially without a step with mothers caring for their young.

We should keep it for another thread, but I love the idea of non sapient life achieving space flight, and the only way I see that happening, is through eusocial colonies.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:39 pm UTC

SPAWN MORE OVERLORDS.

Don't forget naked mole rats, that are effectively eusocial.

There's some fun eusociality in a handful of fun sci-fi. Namely the Saga of the Seven Suns, which addresses its cool integration into the culture. If the form of eusociality is simply multiple queens, it could potentially not detrimentally affect society/culture as we know it at all; you certainly get less competition between individuals, but can still have opposing clans, and depending on the level of intelligence and diversity each worker (clades?) has, still have a good deal of culture within this population.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby chenille » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:06 pm UTC

If you are trying to imagine an octopus capable of developing farming, I don't see why you wouldn't suppose they had a longer lifespan and different reproductive habits. Even if you figure out how to make metal, though, it is not actually going to keep very well underwater. I would see if they could go straight to glasses and plastics; there are lots of interesting reagents to play with in our oceans, if only there were some way to contain them.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:26 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:SPAWN MORE OVERLORDS.

Don't forget naked mole rats, that are effectively eusocial.

There's some fun eusociality in a handful of fun sci-fi. Namely the Saga of the Seven Suns, which addresses its cool integration into the culture. If the form of eusociality is simply multiple queens, it could potentially not detrimentally affect society/culture as we know it at all; you certainly get less competition between individuals, but can still have opposing clans, and depending on the level of intelligence and diversity each worker (clades?) has, still have a good deal of culture within this population.


for ultimate eusociality, how about the Commonwealth saga? the Primes being single entities with basically mindless remote control drones.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby PM 2Ring » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:51 am UTC

idobox wrote:We should keep it for another thread, but I love the idea of non sapient life achieving space flight, and the only way I see that happening, is through eusocial colonies.


Yes, it deserves it's own thread (unless the eusocial colony happens to be aquatic :) ). FWIW, in my last post I originally mentioned the ant-like space-faring creatures that feature in one of Bruce Sterling's Shaper/Mechanist stories, but I decided to delete it since they weren't aquatic.

As for other non-sapient space travellers, a couple of writers have played with the idea of plants in space. Larry Niven's Known Space sequence has trees that are are solid fuel rockets, but they were genetically engineered, IIRC. And Brian Aldiss's Hothouse, set in the far-distant future when the Earth & Moon are tidally locked to each other and the Earth is tidally locked to the Sun, has plants that connect the Earth to the Moon.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby JPatten » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:46 pm UTC

I had developed the idea for a civilization that was aquatic and its entire technology was based of micro-biological manipulation. Metals were refined by bacteria that consumed ores and excreted purified metals.

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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby Nautilus » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:26 am UTC

A while ago I was thinking of writing a short story about an experiment like the Russian one with the foxes- but instead of breeding foxes for friendliness, breeding octopuses for intelligence. I did way too much octopus research :P
One of my ideas, though, was that it's a relatively short jump from using their crazy camouflage skins for basic communication, which I think they do, to using them for more complex communication and language, which was pretty important for human development. Maybe they might even start displaying pictures on themselves, which could get simplified into pictograms, which they could start transcribing onto rocks...

Also, off topic:
Spoiler:
People think that squids might actually be on par with octopuses in terms of intelligence, but it's hard to be sure because squids don't do well in captivity. Their default defense mechanism, squirting ink and jetting off really fast, doesn't work in enclosed environments. There was actually a study that was called off because of a bunch of concussed squids.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby idobox » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:01 pm UTC

Getting octopuses to survive childbirth and care for their young seem like a basic step to get a real intelligent species. They are rather lonely animals, and that doesn't help much intelligence and culture.
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Re: How could aquatic aliens become space-faring civilizatio

Postby sh0tbEaN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:07 pm UTC

Well i think that maybe a way around the stone age to bronze age jump might be to bypass it altogether. There is a type of deep sea snail which processes the the plume from underwater vent, which had lead to the snails shell been made of nickel. So its not to hard to imagine that other lifeforms could process gold, zinc, and so on. Using stone age tools as a base an alien could make shells over the snails as the shell grows and keep changing to mold so you shape the metal into whatever shape required.


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