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MrGrimm888's avatar

If there were intelligent aliens on a 'water planet,' would their environment hinder/ cap their technology? (details )

Asked by MrGrimm888 (18993points) November 11th, 2016


A planet that has no dry land, or ice , only ocean, and a molten core that keeps the water warm through hydrothermal vents developed life. Eventually intelligent life,say equal,or better/smarter than us.

Would the fact they are underwater stop them from creating or harnessing certain capabilities?

How would they work with metal for instance?

Would they be forever stuck on their planet, despite being very smart? (hard to build spacecraft underwater, without the ability to make fire.)

Would such an environment be too challenging for them to have much more than stone age technology?

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20 Answers

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Their hydro-electric systems are the sheeeeeet.

ragingloli's avatar

They will have trouble with electricity and fire.

zenvelo's avatar

Your premise is flawed.

If there was intelligent life on an water planet, they would have evolved to adapt to their environment. So drop your Terran paradigm for how things are accomplished.

Instead of fluther full of jellies, they have a swarm full of flies, asking the question, “if a planet with waterless places had intelligent life, would their environment hinder their technology?”

MrGrimm888's avatar

@zenvelo . How could they make fire? Fire is important to metallurgy. Without metal, how could they even make basic things?

How could they develop an understanding of chemistry?

Sure they could make things from their environment, but they would have trouble manipulating the resources at their disposal.

Waterless seems easier to me,by far.

zenvelo's avatar

@MrGrimm888 You are limiting your thinking.

Ever seen underwater welding? Done all the time. That’s electromagnetic AND metallurgy all done underwater.

Think outside the Terran box, be more like Gene Roddenberry.

Cruiser's avatar

Depends on your definition of intelligent life. Once humans began to make and use tools it could be argued he was an intelligent lifeform. Man though evolved into an intelligent life when he began to adapt his environment to increase his odds for survival. Something underwater life forms could do underwater.

Zaku's avatar

Well we don’t have thousands of years of history inventing and developing technology underwater. I imagine it would be quite possible to develop many technologies, but different techniques would be wanted.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@zenvelo . You’re not thinking limited enough. Welding technology existed for a LONG time (depending on what you call welding, ) before it was done underwater.

@Zaku has the right idea. Different roads leading to the same place.

Yellowdog's avatar

The movie “The Abyss” featured jellyfish-like, (female I think) pulsating, intelligent deziens in deep trenches on our own planet.

I would suspect something similar could exist on a water world or moon of the gas giants.

They may not fly through space, but they still may be able to manipulate matter with powers we humans do not have. I’d think that their own environment, while maybe they don’t gaze at stars at night, could still be quite dazzling and very advanced.

Who’s to say, even, that they couldn’t communicate with us through sending out some sort of brainwave signal or pulse, even over great distances? Or that the ocean itself of such a planet might in fact be a single or multifaceted organism / hive mentality—harnessing the collective of all—like Jellies on Fluther—tapping the collective.

TyWebb's avatar

Perhaps their technology might then transcend our brightest mind’s perception and understanding of what constitutes alien expressions of what a vast array of human interpretations of intelligence means. In short, their “metal” may equate to manipulating energy and then mass?

MrGrimm888's avatar

In my mind, they would have to have technology that we couldn’t perceive. It would be extremely difficult to make technological advances, without metallurgy…

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The biology would eventually evolved into cooler and cooler abilities.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Could you expound?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@MrGrimm888 They would eventually evolve into a species that can survive in outer space without a spacecraft.

ragingloli's avatar

An aquatic species would be as dead in space as any air breathing one. They still need to breathe.
Other than that, they would have an even harder time getting into space, since they would have to haul an ungodly amount of water into orbit.

zenvelo's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 that supposition does not follow in any way from the previous conditions stated.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

There was a Star Trek TNG episode where they had lifeforms living in space (Galaxies child). The poisoned milk episode where a baby lifeform was nursing on the Enterprises engine.

ragingloli's avatar

That was life form that originated in space, and evolved to live off of radiation.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@ragingloli Ok thanks. I was answering in social, not as an expert, but as a Jelly. I wrongly thought that life has to originate in a planet. That sounds interesting to me. Thanks.

In the series Enterprise there was a species that lived in water and was wiped out. From the 6 ailens species that tried to destroy Earth.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I do remember starting a thread about just that RDG.
Something like would life be able to form without a planet. Like evolve in open space…

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