Question: You can grow plants in a hydroponic farm using artificial light, water substitutes and soil substitutes but would a human (Homosapiens) be able to survive in these conditions.

  1. Hydroponics is a way of growing plants that use mineral nutrient solutions, in a material other then soil. such as water, gravel or coconut husk. So the roots of the plants hang in the water or coconut husk.

    Humans don’t really live within the hydroponics system, but are you refering to the studies where humans live in biopods for space travel? It was called Biosphere, 8 people had to live in there for 2 years.

    Anything artificial can have an effect on humans. Vitamin D is produced in the skin from Sunlight and UV light, but it might not be produced very well in artificail light, which can make us sick. We don’t really know how well we can survive in this biopods or biospheres, this is new science. It says on the weblink I above that no chamicals could be used in the biosphere becuase it would quickly impact health. Interestingly it also said that the 8 people living in the sphere complianed that they were allways hungry for the first year. So in the second year they produced over 1 ton more food…

    This topic is very interesting.


  2. There have been some experiments to test this, primarily associated with simulated space travel. A lot has been learned, but in most cases things go just a little bit wrong, then a bit more wrong, then a lot wrong. In most cases it is the mental health of the test subjects that suffered. Look up MARS-500 in wikipedia for example.


  3. Simon brings up a great point about mental health. Scientists understand very little about how our brains work in the grand scheme of things, so it is difficult to know how humans could mentally cope in an artificial world. There are so many subtle things in our natural environment that positively influence our mental health, and we may miss including these things in making an artificial environment.

    Great question kwald27. It really got me thinking 🙂


  4. I think you could keep a human alive but it wouldn’t be very healthy and they would probably all go insane! I need my outdoorsy lifestyle to be happy!


  5. Great question – I think there is a big difference between what we can do technically and what is ok by social and health standards. Although you probably could do this for a short amount of time at least, its not necessarily a good thing.