Can this be adapted for Mars?
This is a snapshot of life at one of the world’s strangest farms. In the eerie blue light, a diver drifts between underwater greenhouses, where the first seeds of the year – basil, strawberry, lettuce and beans – were planted last week.
The transparent “biospheres” beneath the Bay of Noli, in Savona, Italy, are part of the three-year-old Nemo’s Garden project, which aims to find innovative ways of growing crops in places that lack freshwater or fertile soil.
Resembling large balloons, the air-filled structures are anchored to the sea floor and float between 5 and 10 metres below the surface. Inside, water condenses on the roof of the spheres, dripping back down to keep the plants watered, while the warm, near-constant sea temperature nurtures the plants.
The site is equipped with four cameras that stream back live video, allowing the unusual farmers to be watched in action online. Sensors collecting live data can also be monitored from a website, revealing for example the humidity and air temperature in the greenhouses.
It’s not the only unlikely garden around. An island of green was built in the middle of a sea of garbage in Djenné, Mali.