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Feasibility Of Floating Plants?

Air Bladder Seaweed Biolofy Plants Floating Ecosystem

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#1 andytak3740

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 01:19 PM

Hello Everyone,

 

I am currently in the works of a fictional story, and wanted to get your opinion on a concept. Basically, I was researching seaweed air bladders and their functionality. Thus, I was wondering if it would have been feasible for terrestrial plants to develop a similar trait. Thus allowing for taller vegetation to be supported partially by a buoyant air bladder as well as the ground. Supposedly they could be filled with oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, methane, or a mixture of the the gasses. Is such a thing plausible? If so, under what conditions, and how would you speculate that weather and animals be effected by the change. I an personally imagining tree or vine like mega flora that reach extraordinary heights. 

 

What do y'all think?

 

27269.jpg

 



#2 exchemist

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 02:20 PM

Hello Everyone,

 

I am currently in the works of a fictional story, and wanted to get your opinion on a concept. Basically, I was researching seaweed air bladders and their functionality. Thus, I was wondering if it would have been feasible for terrestrial plants to develop a similar trait. Thus allowing for taller vegetation to be supported partially by a buoyant air bladder as well as the ground. Supposedly they could be filled with oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, methane, or a mixture of the the gasses. Is such a thing plausible? If so, under what conditions, and how would you speculate that weather and animals be effected by the change. I an personally imagining tree or vine like mega flora that reach extraordinary heights. 

 

What do y'all think?

 

 

It would need to be a gas lighter than air, so not oxygen (molecular weight 32)  or nitrogen (molecular weight 28). Methane (molecular weight 16) would not give much lift either. Hydrogen (molecular weight 2) would be the best bet. It is possible to generate this organically (some gut bacteria do this, for example).  

 

I remember a Robert Heinlein story called "Starman Jones"  in which there were sort of jellyfish-like creatures that floated in the air like airships or helium balloons, using buoyancy from a gas bladder.

 

Maybe one could pursue the jellyfish analogy further and have buoyant "polyps" rising up from the ground, from the top of which "jellyfish" could bud off and float away, as jellyfish actually do in the sea. Creepy! 


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#3 andytak3740

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 10:32 PM

Thank you ex-chemist for the help, I think I have an idea now. 



#4 OceanBreeze

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:20 PM

I have mixed feelings about those large kelp. They can be both annoying and dangerous, as they tend to get tangled up in everything from lines and nets to propellers and unfortunately even scuba divers, and there have been some fatal accidents.

 

That said kelp is very interesting and worthy of study. Kelp farmers say it will eventually feed the world.

 

Getting back to the topic, I thought I would mention that the “air bags”, the pneumatocysts, are actually filled with carbon monoxide, CO.

 

330px-Algae_bladder_4290.jpg

 

 

 

CO is very marginally lighter than air but as exchemist said, you would need to fill the bags with something very much lighter to provide any significant lift to a terrestrial plant.

 


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#5 andytak3740

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 05:47 PM

I have mixed feelings about those large kelp. They can be both annoying and dangerous, as they tend to get tangled up in everything from lines and nets to propellers and unfortunately even scuba divers, and there have been some fatal accidents.

 

That said kelp is very interesting and worthy of study. Kelp farmers say it will eventually feed the world.

 

Getting back to the topic, I thought I would mention that the “air bags”, the pneumatocysts, are actually filled with carbon monoxide, CO.

 

330px-Algae_bladder_4290.jpg

 

 

 

CO is very marginally lighter than air but as exchemist said, you would need to fill the bags with something very much lighter to provide any significant lift to a terrestrial plant.

 

I see. I am in the midst of writing a fictional novel, and I am attempting to keep everything grounded in reality. At least have every fantastical aspect be feasible in our life if we were to somehow replicate it. An idea that came to mind revolved around massive forests that stretched into the heavens. The idea revolved around a terrestrial seaweed like plant evolving to have air-sacks that could supports its wait past the gravitational weight limit. It appears that hydrogen could work as a solution, now as to the implications I suppose. But are there other factors that I could be missing? I do appreciate the information you provide when it relates to the plants being both a hazard as well as a potential resource. 

Thank you for the post.


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#6 kemeron

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:50 AM

Underwater world, he is beautiful. I was diving in Egypt. I was amazed by the beauty of the underwater world


Edited by kemeron, 31 May 2019 - 09:51 AM.


#7 SaxonViolence

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 06:38 PM

Hello Everyone,

 

I am currently in the works of a fictional story, and wanted to get your opinion on a concept. Basically, I was researching seaweed air bladders and their functionality. Thus, I was wondering if it would have been feasible for terrestrial plants to develop a similar trait. Thus allowing for taller vegetation to be supported partially by a buoyant air bladder as well as the ground. Supposedly they could be filled with oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, methane, or a mixture of the the gasses. Is such a thing plausible? If so, under what conditions, and how would you speculate that weather and animals be effected by the change. I an personally imagining tree or vine like mega flora that reach extraordinary heights. 

 

What do y'all think?

 

27269.jpg

 

 

I appreciate your attention to detail.

 

…..Saxon Violence 


Edited by SaxonViolence, 31 May 2019 - 06:38 PM.


#8 fahrquad

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:18 PM

Kudzu, peas, and other vines will grow up a supporting structure as far as the cells can pump nutrients, so the height limit is imposed by gravity, not buoyancy.  As an alternative to trying to support upward growth, why try to grow up when you can grow down?  It is much cheaper and easier.  Your floating plants could grown on clouds for moisture and reach down to the ground for nutrients.


Edited by fahrquad, 31 May 2019 - 09:23 PM.


#9 fahrquad

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:26 PM

Underwater world, he is beautiful. I was diving in Egypt. I was amazed by the beauty of the underwater world

 

Underwater strawberries must be indigenous to the Mediterranean, since I haven't seen any in the Yucatan or Caribbean.



#10 fahrquad

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:49 PM

I have mixed feelings about those large kelp. They can be both annoying and dangerous, as they tend to get tangled up in everything from lines and nets to propellers and unfortunately even scuba divers, and there have been some fatal accidents.

 

That said kelp is very interesting and worthy of study. Kelp farmers say it will eventually feed the world...

 

There seems to be plenty of it in Japanese cuisine.  Now eat your miso soup and sushi and be quiet.   BTW, when do you guys ship out?



#11 fahrquad

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:55 PM

We already use plenty of gelatin in our food products and it is made from red algae.  Yum, yum.  It beats making gelatin from boiling down cow bones.

 

Ogo.jpg

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agar



#12 fahrquad

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:59 PM

One for Popeye...going the wrong way.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=0cBsnopTVmo


Edited by fahrquad, 03 June 2019 - 10:48 PM.


#13 GAHD

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 10:57 AM

I see. I am in the midst of writing a fictional novel, and I am attempting to keep everything grounded in reality. At least have every fantastical aspect be feasible in our life if we were to somehow replicate it. An idea that came to mind revolved around massive forests that stretched into the heavens. The idea revolved around a terrestrial seaweed like plant evolving to have air-sacks that could supports its wait past the gravitational weight limit. It appears that hydrogen could work as a solution, now as to the implications I suppose. But are there other factors that I could be missing? I do appreciate the information you provide when it relates to the plants being both a hazard as well as a potential resource. 

Thank you for the post.

Does this need to be an earth normal fictional atmosphere? Talking alien biology or alien plants there's no reason the atmosphere around it couldn't be a lot denser allow buoyancy from that. If it still needs to be human breathable, there's the possibility of it being rich in Argon or Krypton giving the unique opertunity to evolve that way. Krypton fluorine lasers work off some semi-stable interactions, and if the alien biome was rich in both those plants could "heat themselves" like a hot air balloon from some chemical pathways to keep them afloat while also giving off a psychedelic light show. Also lets you add a mild danger plot element since the gasses would be toxic if the balloons were punctured. Always nice to have a "don't screw with me or you die" element in the biology.



#14 hazelm

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 01:16 PM

Underwater world, he is beautiful. I was diving in Egypt. I was amazed by the beauty of the underwater world

I think it was David Attenborough who once commented on the beauty of the sea world in that area.  "Life on Earth", by David Attenborough, if I'm remembering rightly.



#15 fahrquad

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 04:09 PM

...and here is the worst possible floating plant.

 

https://youtu.be/Fcc3nrXGSks


Edited by fahrquad, 01 June 2019 - 04:09 PM.


#16 GAHD

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 10:28 PM

...and here is the worst possible floating plant.
 
https://youtu.be/Fcc3nrXGSks


This is obviously a research ship, not a whaling ship. It was researching how many whales it could catch and process in a week. FOR SCIENCE!

#17 fahrquad

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 10:50 PM

This is obviously a research ship, not a whaling ship. It was researching how many whales it could catch and process in a week. FOR SCIENCE!

 

Good thing.  My lamp was running low on whale oil.