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Underwater living and other predicitons for 2012 and beyond

Thursday - 12/29/2011, 3:25pm  ET

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - It's a sci-fi scenario many have dreamed of: Humans traveling to the very bottom of our oceans, and even living there.

Futurists say it could happen if fuel cells being developed now for cars, are applied to submarines.

Fuel cells that run on hydrogen create electricity without producing any toxic fumes.

"The development of fuel cells could make it much easier to explore the undersea, and to even create sort of sustainable colonies underwater," says Patrick Tucker with the Bethesda-based World Future Society.

The idea of deep sea habitation is one of the Society's top ten forecasts for 2012 and beyond.

"We actually have done, in many ways, a lot less exploration of the sea than we have of space," Tucker says. "It's just this whole frontier that we haven't really explored and it's time has come."

One reason to keep people living underwater for extended periods of time could be to help stop oil spills where they start.

Another reason could be underwater farming. Tucker says algae that lives in saltwater could become a crucial fuel and food source.

The number one reason for humans to live underwater: "It's cool", Tucker says with a smile.

"That's right out of a comic book. Of course we want that. Of course we want to be the first country with a sea city. Those bragging rights don't wear off," he says.

To read the World Future Society's entire top 10 list of predictions, follow this link.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)