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Subterranean Technology

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 4:43 pm
by Floridian Dream
I've had, for about the longest time, had the idea of a technologically advanced civilization existing within the cave systems below the Earth's surface, and as a speculative writer who yearns to propose what could actually be out there through fictional works (if that wasn't a redundant statement), I've struggled to find a feasible means through which the inhabitants of said civilization would be able to construct it from their rocky, underground world. Could they achieve metal-based technology like ours, or would it be easier to cultivate tools and devices from selectively-bred/biologically-engineered organisms (organic/biological technology) or from crystals.

If metal based technology can be a feasible option, where could they get their metal to begin with? Could it possibly be somehow extracted from the rock that makes up the caverns in which they live, or maybe collect it from the byproduct of some other organism? Or might they have to have stumbled into the surface world at some point (I don't have much trouble with this) and collect their metal from there?

How might they be able to safely heat metal so they may work with it? I've definitely found a solution or two to the issue regarding the amount of oxygen within a cave (i.e. I've found some ways in which plentiful oxygen could exist deep underground — you can ask me about that later…), so there should be little difficulty in maintaining a fire; my one issue is how the subterraneans might avoid the issue of smoke buildup within their ventilation-lacking caverns, unless the fact that these caverns are pretty spacious helps. Otherwise, could there be other, potentially more natural, means to acquire hot plasma? Because what more is fire, really, than one form of plasma (i.e. hot, ionized gas)?

So, I'd definitely like to hear and would strongly appreciate your thoughts on any of this.

Also, I do consider the idea of diversity of technology types amongst the subterraneans, like there may be some civilizations based on metal technology, some on crystalline technology, and others on organic/biological technology, and such.

Re: Subterranean Technology

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 6:04 am
by Bmat
Since you have the issue of oxygen availability accounted for, then I'd think they could find their metals the same way that we do, dig more tunnels. :)

Re: Subterranean Technology

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:29 am
by Talon Sinnah
I agree with Bmat on the gathering metals. The Earth would be all they need. As far as heat goes they could use the natural lava flows below ground for their heat source and smelting needs. This would handle the heat/light source for the civilization plus a natural protection if it acted like a boundary in some way. The lava flows would mean a lot less smoke and the old tunnels could serve a roads of sort or even living quarters for the civilization

Re: Subterranean Technology

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:24 pm
by WisconsinSFfan
I like the lava idea, Talon. If this we've got volcanic action, then keep in mind the influence of seismic activity on these people. I imagine that could be the foundation of a religion or two. In parts of Peru, Jesus is called the lord of earthquakes.

I imagine much of the biosphere would be fungal, and the culture could be modeled after fungal traits (efficient - use everything, communal, expansionistic).

Would the crystalline culture be very slow, orderly, and methodical like formation of crystals?

What are you thinking of as far as social structure? Hierarchies? Would it vary across your proposed cultures?