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Plans for a new 'floating skyscraper' could help us learn more about our oceans

Plans for a new 'floating skyscraper' could help us learn more about our oceans

The Sea Orbiter is expected to drift across bodies of water and is headed up by an architect and an astronaut.

Exciting plans exist for a floating sea-based structure to be built and act as an international scientific station.

In 2012, French visionary architect Jacques Rougerie revealed he’d begun designing a vessel that would revolutionize the way Earth’s waters were explored.

He proposed to build a 167-foot-tall oceanic station that would drift around the world using sea currents.

The floating project - dubbed the SeaOrbiter - combines elements of a skyscraper and superyatch and would act as a semi-submersible craft.

Plans claim that the research vessel would weigh a whopping 1,000 tons and feature an alloy hull to float vertically and drift with the current.

However, if the SeaOrbiter ever became stuck in confined waters, two of its small propellers would be used to modify the trajectory.

The stunning structure, estimated to cost $52.7 million at the time, will host up to 22 aquanauts.

These specialists are expected to reside on the floating research station and keep constant observation of the world’s waters.

Plans list that 3/4s of the colossal structure will be submerged below sea level and researchers will live and work below the waterline.

Additionally, underwater robots would be sent from a platform to explore the deep seabed.

A pressurised deck will also be installed to support divers and submarines.

This state-of-the-art vessel will allow marine scientists to advance their knowledge of ancient shipwrecks, while astronauts will allegedly be able to use pressurised environments to mimic that of Space.

Moreover, experts will be able to further study the relationship between the seas and the Earth’s climate and further understand the deep blue.

It’s thought that work began on the SeaOrbiter back in 2014 as is the brainchild of 78-year-old Rougerie.

The French architect specialises in underwater habitats and has previously worked on the Alexandria underwater archaeological museum in Egypt and 2013’s Piscine Molitor.

Rougerie’s SeaOrbiter has also attracted the interest of retired French astronaut Jean-Loupe Chrétien.

The 85-year-old, born in the town of La Rochelle, flew on two Franco-Soviet space missions and a Nasa Space Shuttle mission.

He is also known as the first Frenchman and first Western European to travel to space.

In May 2015, the Eye of SeaOrbiter was completed, thanks to the help of the crowdfunding platform, Kiss Kiss Bank Bank.

The eye is expected to stand 60ft above the waterline and has been designed as a lookout post as well as to host radio and communication systems.

Due to the complex nature of the project, it’s not known when SeaOrbiter will be completed.

Featured Image Credit: / JOEL SAGET / Staff / Getty