Wonder in Beyond Earth
|Effect|| +5 Capital|
+1 from Coast
The Euphotic Strand is an aquatic only wonder introduced in the Rising Tide expansion pack.
"I eagerly anticipate the results of infusing additional solar capital into moribund benthic ecosystems. Disruption is always a positive force." - Suzanne Fielding, Transplanetary Management, Methods, and Resources
Beyond a distant planet’s initial spectroscopic scan to detect liquid water and the pre-Seeding base reading of contamination levels, study of alien oceans could not be a scientific priority until the procedure of colonization was complete. Even then, after all other scientific pursuits concluded and oceanic study was viable, the lack of submersible technology to provide a stable research environment limited investigation to the shallow epipelagic zone of the sea. The Euphotic Strand removed such limitations. Rhomand Walton, director of Walton Marine Technologies, noted that the Strand would allow researchers to “peer into the shadows below us and discover what’s hiding there.”
The Euphotic Strand is a network of lamps and heat sources that clings to a city’s anchor like a curious sea-creature whose phosphorescent tendrils illuminate the surrounding dark. Providing more than mere illumination, the Strand induces photosynthesis at greater depths, increasing the range and diversity of aquatic life around the city. Laboratory and observation pods hang from the Strand, allowing scientists to capitalize on this artificial ecosystem and obtain swifter, more sweeping insights into a planet’s oceanic life.
Within the first week of service, hundreds of new aquatic organisms were documented; some recorded fleeing from the tremendous flood of light, others were found attached to the strand’s observation windows as if attempting to consume, or mate with, the laboratories. There were some detractors who speculated that the change to the environment may disrupt heretofore unknown ecosystems or lifeforms that could pose unanticipated hazards to the Strand, or even the city that supports it. In support of their apprehension, a deep-sea probe reported syncopated flashing lights that, when analyzed, matched the pulsing light of the Strand as it drifts in the current. The size of the unknown source of light was calculated to be three times that of the Strand. The worried scientists insisted that the source of the lights was intelligent, trying to communicate either in playful imitation or like an Old Earth angler fish, luring the observer to come closer. The pulses eventually ceased and detractors quieted.