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Under the Sea

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Essay title: Under the Sea

Humans consist of eighty percent water, the earth consists of eighty percent water; without water there is no life, Joachim Hauser. The world of underwater housing/travel is not something new by any means. Underwater exploration began in the early sixteen hundreds when Cornelis Drebbel built the first submarine. Since then the idea of underwater housing and travel has come exceedingly far.

The first underwater hotel to be built was constructed by Ian Koblick and Dr. Neil Monney. The Jules Underwater Lodge is located at the bottom of the Emerald Lagoon in Key Largo, Florida. Jules Underwater Lodge just celebrated their twentieth anniversary and owner states that “marine life is actually enhanced by the presence of the lodge”, not harmed as many might think. To access the Jules Underwater Lodge the guest needs to dive 21 feet beneath the surface of the ocean where they will enter the wet room of their guest room. The rooms at the underwater lodge are split into two sections. The first section being the common room which is 8 X 20 feet and the second is the bedroom area which is 8 X 10 feet. Each room is equipped with a telephone intercom to reach the service areas, such as front desk or housekeeping, a VCR/DVD and a stereo sound system. Koblick states that “waking up to view a pair of angelfish looking in your bedroom window is a moment you’ll never forget.” Since the Jules was the first underwater lodging facility to be built though there are a few downfalls. Some of these downfalls include the fact that you have to dive to get to the facility; also the rooms are very plain and have no real comfort to them. As well as the fact that there are no amenities like a normal hotel would have for example internet is not available at this establishment.

The Crescent Hydropolis Resort PLC was the second underwater hotel to be contemplated. This resort is going to be the world’s first luxury hotel underwater and should be opening in early 2008. The Hydropolis will be a five star hotel and is budgeted to cost 1.5 billion dollars when completed. There will be three different sections to this luxury hotel and it will take up six hundred and forty-two acres of land about twenty meters below the ocean surface. The first station will be a land station where all guests will check in and receive their room keys and a map of the property. Then the guest will proceed to the train station to wait for a train to take them from the land station above ground to the actual resort under the water through a connecting tunnel. The third aspect of the resort will be the actual hotel which has 220 suites style room within a submarine leisure complex. Hydropolis is not a project; it's a passion," stated Joachim Hauser, the developer and designer of the hotel.

The third underwater hotel that is to be built is the Poseidon Undersea Resort which will be located off the coast of a mystery island near Fiji. The project is said to be completed by early 2009 yet the resort will start taking reservations in January of 2007. This seventy-two room hotel will cost about half of what it will cost to build the Hydropolis and the hotel will only need four thousand guests a year to break even. The rooms will be thirty-three by seventeen feet and include individual Jacuzzi’s, an inside room control to feed outside fish as well as the normal hotel amenities.

As I previously stated the concept of an underwater hotel/resorts has been around for many years, ever since the invention of the submarine. The intricate workings of these underwater hotel/resorts are not as unfamiliar as one may assume. Actually they are very simply because these hotels/resorts are being built with the same technology that submarines use with just a little tweaking. Let’s start with the basics as we know these hotels/resorts are closed environments which can create two major problems one being air and two being fresh water supply. First off and in my opinion most important is maintaining air quality and there are a few things that must happen in either a submarine or these underwater resorts to make this possible. One is that oxygen has to be replenished as rapidly as it is consumed and two the carbon monoxide and the moisture we exhale must be removed from the air. Oxygen is supplied either from pressurized tanks, an oxygen generator or some sort of "oxygen canister" that releases oxygen by a very hot chemical reaction. Oxygen is either released continuously by a computerized system that senses the percentage of oxygen in the air, or it is released in batches periodically through the day (howstuffworks.com). Scrubbers are used to remove the carbon dioxide that is in the air; these scrubbers contain soda lime and trap the carbon dioxide through a chemical reaction. The moisture has two ways of being removed from the air, one is through a humidifier and the other is chemically.

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