Independent ocean communities sounds like something out of Star Wars. I'm envisioning Jar Jar Binks strutting the streets of the underwater world of Naboo. If The SeaSteading Institute (TSI) has their way though, these communities will be a reality right here on our Earth.
Seasteads are ocean dwellings that lie outside the territory of any particular nation. These dwellings are meant to be permanent and have taken a number of different forms - cruise vessels, oil platforms and customized floating islands.
Wayne Gramlich and Patri Friedman founded The Seasteading Institute in 2008 for the purpose of establishing these autonomous ocean communities. Paypal founder, Peter Thiel, invested $500,000 in the venture.
TSI holds annual conferences, and in 2012, they were given ship, Opus Casino. They planned to lease or sell the ship to a company that would use it for ocean habitation research.