Author Topic: How did the Island of Zeal float anyways?  (Read 7969 times)

Lord J Esq

  • Moon Stone J
  • Hero of Time (+5000)
  • *
  • Posts: 5463
  • ^_^ "Ayla teach at college level!!"
    • View Profile
Re: How did the Island of Zeal float anyways?
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2010, 05:11:43 am »
I suppose I could subject you to that degree of criticism, if you wish. There isn't nearly enough urine in Zeal to account for the water loss. In this, your idea suffers from the same problem as the atmospheric condensation idea--insufficient input--and is toast.

Furthermore, a wax candle may not do well at the elevations under consideration, but when dealing with the large quantities of molecular oxygen presupposed by your machine description, the condition of thin atmosphere is superseded. Additionally, with molecular hydrogen nearby, the fire risks are even more enormous: You've got a highly combustible fuel gas (hydrogen) and one of nature's most powerful oxidizers (oxygen), sitting nearby each other. I misspoke earlier when talking about the balloons. I did mention that hydrogen is flammable, but I neglected to specify that oxygen is not, that it is, instead, the other half of a combustion. And there was a fourth balloon in that classroom, containing a hydrogen-oxygen mixture, and that was the one that shook my bones--not the pure oxygen balloon--but that is neither here nor there. The bottom line is that the fire risks are real in your design.

GenesisOne

  • Bounty Seeker
  • Dimension Crosser (+1000)
  • *
  • Posts: 1215
  • "Time Travel? Possible? Don't make me laugh!"
    • View Profile
Re: How did the Island of Zeal float anyways?
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2010, 06:30:17 am »

*Sigh*  :(

... so how would you go about oxidizing hydrogen molecules with running the minimal risk of blowing us up?

Slam on my brakes! I just came across this amazing device:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/manufacture-water1.htm

Pulling water out of thin air?  Sounds far-fetched, but these guys found a way to do it.

Also, the very next page tells about how dry ice, salt, and silver iodide can produce so much water that it can flood an entire town. 

If THAT isn't water production, I don't what is (other than using the M-word).

Lord J Esq

  • Moon Stone J
  • Hero of Time (+5000)
  • *
  • Posts: 5463
  • ^_^ "Ayla teach at college level!!"
    • View Profile
Re: How did the Island of Zeal float anyways?
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2010, 05:41:27 pm »
The link you provided goes to a webpage talking about water condensation from the atmosphere. We've already covered that. There isn't enough surface area at Zeal to produce the kind of water volumes or water losses we see in the game.

The cloud-seeding mentioned on the next page is a definite possibility, but to work it would create a precipitating cloud layer above the islands, and we never see that in game. I don't know what Zeal's levitation mechanism is (the actual mechanism, as opposed to the power source), so I don't know enough to be able to say whether cloud-seeding would be more or less practical than lowering the islands to collect water from the natural nimbostrati. But it's certainly a possibility--probably one of the better possibilities presented thus far in this thread.

To answer your question, it isn't necessary to go through the step of isolating molecular hydrogen and molecular oxygen. Water is a ready byproduct of all kinds of chemical reactions. The question, again, is one of input scale: Can enough reactants be harvested for your machine to produce a continental supply of water? I'm dubious, but I don't have enough knowledge to dismiss it outright.

GenesisOne

  • Bounty Seeker
  • Dimension Crosser (+1000)
  • *
  • Posts: 1215
  • "Time Travel? Possible? Don't make me laugh!"
    • View Profile
Re: How did the Island of Zeal float anyways?
« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2010, 01:47:27 am »

Well, I won't dismiss the Swooping Theory you proposed just yet.  Here's the reason why:

To say that Zeal never descends below the clouds because we never see it happen in the game is a Converse Accident.  Just something to think about.

On another note, I decided to employ Occam's Razor on this one (why I didn't before escapes me):

The water in the lakes and streams and the water coming off the top of the island is already there.  It works like a giant ornamental fountain that one would see in large public parks.

Only a fraction of the water falls off the island while the vast bulk of it gets recycled and filtered on its way back to the top.  How the lost water gets compensated for is a pending theory I'm still working on.

What says you?

Lord J Esq

  • Moon Stone J
  • Hero of Time (+5000)
  • *
  • Posts: 5463
  • ^_^ "Ayla teach at college level!!"
    • View Profile
Re: How did the Island of Zeal float anyways?
« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2010, 04:19:08 am »
It doesn't really matter what the rest of the water is doing. The water falling off the sides is significant enough, at that rate, to account for Zeal's entire visible water supply in a matter of days or weeks. So either those waterfalls are not as active as the game suggests (which I think would be an affront to the developer's artistic intent in Zeal's design), or there's a whole lot of water coming from somewhere. The latter becomes even more likely when you consider the need for that water to be fresh. Estimating Zeal's population, there isn't enough water present at any one time on Zeal to sustain the population; without a large influx of fresh water, the existing water would become toxic with pollution in short order, absent the intervention of extraordinary filtration or waste extraction systems.