TECH

Japanese Firm Unveils Plans For Giant Underwater City

26/11/2014 10:15 GMT | Updated 26/11/2014 11:59 GMT

Japanese construction firm Shimizu have unveiled plans for an underwater city that would be powered by the seabed and could accommodate up to 5,000 people.

This sounds like science-fiction but the industrial giant is quite serious, in fact Shimizu claims that within just 15 years they'll have developed the materials needed for building 'Ocean Spiral'.

The city would be split into three parts with the central habitat zone being a giant floating sphere some 500m across. A massive spiral tunnel would then descend 4km to the seabed where scientists would have research stations.

underwater city

Shimizu believes the city would take just five years to build at a cost of around £16bn. The company hopes to secure government and third-party funding over the next few years.

Speaking to the Guardian Shimizu spokesman Hideo Imamura said, “This is a real goal, not a pipe dream, the Astro Boy cartoon character had a mobile phone long before they were actually invented – in the same way, the technology and knowhow we need for this project will become available.”

This isn't the first time a Japanese construction firm has proposed what, at first glance, would be a science fiction project. Obayashi construction has also proposed plans for a viable working space elevator by 2050.