Lets talk underwater civilizations (kill me)

I DEFINITALLY know your guy’s belgium with this idea, but wouldn’t they be able to at least get to tribal? they would be able to create settlements with rocks and seaweed, and make weapons with said seaweed and rocks, but would be limited with written languages, as they would have to use rocks which would be a bit time consuming. So basically they would have a seaweed and rock inception.

I did read fairly recently that an aquatic species can form a fully-fledged spacefaring civilisation, through the combination of metal-rich waters, selective breeding until you get an electricity-producing organism and some electrochemistry. Other things include reverse SCUBA and spacey balloons.

In terms of your theory, it’s perfectly possible to form a civilisation, it’s just that the devs insist on a technology cap because “no fire no metallurgy no technology

Villages would be constructed with comparatively light materials, as they wouldn’t really need a solid foundation to keep the thing up, just some light materials with lighter-than-water oils or something similar. The only real problem would be stopping the villages from floating away.

As for weaponry, it wouldn’t be the same as our weaponry. We rely on hard hitting and slicing, something the water would generally not allow. They would instead use things like drilling, grinding etc.

Not sure about writing.

The past consensus was that purely underwater civilizations could reach a stone age technology level, and nothing more.

However, the obtaining of these technologies may prove difficult.
Selective breeding, the simplest of all of them, may be able to modify the traits of a species (like wolves to dogs), but producing a new organ that doesn’t already exist in a population would not be possible in the timeframe of society. If an electric eel coexisted with this underwater sapient long enough, perhaps they may domesticate it. But will they understand how electricity works?
A scientific method, integral to more complex research may arise if the philosophy of a species advances enough.
But performing chemistry in water, without glassware (a fire-based craft), would just be inaccurate due to all the diffusion, let alone electrochemistry.
Electricity came relatively late in human history. Electricity can be discovered with enough research, but since seawater has electrolytes, it may prove to be quite dangerous. Electroplating, itself a branch of chemistry, requires both metalworking and knowledge of how electricity functions, something not available to this civilization.
The combination of all these factors make discovering electroplating, and harnessing it to put metal on a surface, quite a difficult task, especially with no writing. Sorry buddy, but I guess you’ll have to actually smelt the metals to use them.

Ever hear of anchors? They’re best on a sandy or muddy floor, though.

I agree, it should emerge as a consequence of the increased drag. I’m all for emergence.

Since aquatic creatures often have poor eyesight, detailed carvings would not work well, unless they did some Braille. Another option could be to use solid pigments (like graphite), but the water might degrade them.
EDIT: Aquatic creatures have good eyesight. What was I thinking?


Do note that graphite is not normally soluble in water. On the other hand, that doesn’t help the eyesight problem, unless you just use very large characters, perhaps?

On the other hand, would writing even be considered to that level in Thrive?

Underwater Civilisations would be very nice, but guys, you’re forgetting something…

Water + Electricity = Problem. You would have to isolate everything perfectly, thats nearly impossible.

I actually mentioned this in a seperate, unrelated thread that discussed underwater civs.

can you please stop posting in dead threads? thx


The forum isnt very active, so i think necroing is okay if someone adds substance to the discussion.


I think everyone is waiting for 0.4.0 to see what happens


To solve all the problems with the aquatic sapient ideas, here’s a simple idea to solve it all.

To have a tropical design to your sapiens…

just design them as crustaceans

Like this thing

Not only did you necropost, but you did it on underwater civilizations, great.

That… might actually work

Creatures like that can temporarily go on land to do most stuff, and go back into the water for other things

1 Like

I have the image of a crustacean species making homes inside of large rock formations, whilst having artificial cities established on arising continents. Some of the islands could be connected through underwater tunnels, like underwater monorails.

I believe that @Kawuit had the same ideas for the Ur’l.

Would you like me to make a whole new thread for this?

No, I was just making a jab at it.

Same here. Though I might actually do that, to spread the new “crustacean” idea for the TU.

Underwater creatures that some how achieve sapience either that either smeltle the meltle or use underwater caves is still a concept that a lot of people have belgium with. But, there’s an idea that could solve all of this.

Branching off from “Lets talk underwater civilizations (kill me)”, why don’t we just use the simple design of crustaceans instead of organisms with gills? A crustacean-like sapient could use its arms to build things, harvest material, and do much more than just that. They could even operate carbon based computers and pilot vehicles even. There are many new possibilities that can be opened with this.

Now, it wasn’t me who began the crustacean idea, it was @Kawuit who made one of them in the TU. One of those examples are the Ur’l, a perfect representation of what a crustaceous civilizations could look like.

They could build in both underwater and on land, either with artificial building material or using natural objects like rocks and stone to make houses out of.


Currently, i’m working on my own as well

A civilization isn’t really underwater if they have to go on land to actually develop technology. But this is similar to the idea I came up with to have a reason to have underwater civs, by also doing tech on land first and then going back underwater.

Isn’t that kind of cheating, though, needing to build tech on land in order to be aquatic civ?

p.s. I moved this to this existing topic as I don’t think we should have 5 billion threads about underwater (even sort of) civilizations.

I don’t think it’s technically cheating, but its the closest thing to an underwater / tropical civ we’re gonna get at this point. Unless some new idea comes up, this is what we have for now.

How about a good ol’ switcheroo
Settlements underwater, sciencey bases n stuff above water

It should be switched around. Sciency bases should be underwater, whilst settlements are established above water?