Making an Island/Methods

This chapter describes some of the possible methods for creating an island.

Dumping MethodEdit

The easiest and most straightforward method is to import large quantities of rocks and soil into a shallow pool of water until the hill it forms breaks the surface.


  • Solid foundation - If you want your island to stay in one place no matter what kind of storm hits it, it's hard to beat a solid mass.
  • Simple - Easy to conceptualize.


  • Expensive - Dirt and rock are actually quite valuable in large quantities. Beyond raw material cost, transportation of these heavy materials is hard and costly.
  • Not movable - Sometimes, being able to move an island is quite desirable.
  • Must be placed in shallow water, unless you have a really huge amount of material.
  • Expansion requires enough material to fill a volume from your extended surface to the sea floor i.e. 10 m^2 of extra land in 10 m of water will require at least 100 meters cubed of material.
  • Erosion will be a problem without some way to hold the island together.

Rishi Sowa's Floating methodEdit

Get broken fishnets from trash and fill with empty plastic bottles, tie to discarded wooden pallets, or bamboo lattice work. To make it larger you tie additional segments together. Cover the pallets or latticework on soil, plant mangroves and other salt tolerant plants. The roots will help stabilize the structure and provide nourishment. Further information available at .


  • Free
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Vulnerable to violent storms (could sink)

General Floating IslandEdit


  • Movable
  • Can be placed anywhere
  • If built as a set of modules then expansion is almost unlimited


  • No foundation for building
  • Poor anchors will result in island drifting
  • Storm damage may be more severe as center of gravity is much higher compared to a normal sea floor constructed island

Biorock MethodEdit

Close up of electrified rebar with Biorock forming on top of it.

This method utilizes electricity to cause minerals to be deposited onto a mesh of conductive wire. Over time it will form a substance similar in strength to concrete.


  • Construction is inexpensive. Cost is the price of the mesh foundation and the electricity required to form the biorock.
  • Massive structures can be built.
  • Biorock structures may become the basis of new reefs


  • Will require moderately shallow water
  • Could take long periods of time depending on conditions.

Large Ship MethodEdit

MS Satoshi in 2021.

Most expensive method compared to any listed above. The MS Satoshi served as a real life example of this concept from 2020 to 2021.

This method is common in fiction. This method was depicted in the movie Waterworld and in the book Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson as a place where people made a permanent residence on an abandoned large ship. Snowcrash in particular makes mention of a large inter-connected city of lashed boats connected to a decommissioned aircraft carrier (the U.S.S. Nimitz in this case). With little propulsion it was forced to go with the flow of the sea currents using its engines to only keep away from the territorial waters of countries.

Also the Mindstar series of books by Peter F Hamilton (Mindstar Rising, A Quantum Murder and The Nano Flower) also describe the use of ships and large floating concrete structures in the middle of the Atlantic as a manufacturing facility and spaceport, using large OTEC generators to provide cheap electricity from the thermal difference between deep sea water and surface water.


  • May be used in deep sea oceans without anchorage being strictly necessary.
  • Mobility of structure is possible, with even large power facilities available.
  • Basic utilities and resources such as water purification, power generation, communications, and other basic requirements for survival are usually available and built-in to basic design of ship.
  • Survival of major storms is possible, although deep sea natural phenomena are still not totally understood.
  • May serve as "anchor" to a larger island complex using one or more of the above listed methods.
  • Gives an "instant start" to any island structure, including basic life support and shelter.


  • Expensive
  • Dragging around a "flotilla" of other island structures (like many of those listed above besides this method) may prove difficult at best.
  • Sovereignty claims may be made on the original vessel. Most major ships are usually "flagged" to a specific nation-state, although there are "flags of convince" to many vessels, and it may be possible to find a "stateless" vessel.
  • Any abandoned or decommissioned ship may have significant structural damage, including saltwater corrosion, damaged components, or genuine antique facilities with no spare parts. This may require knowledge of a machine shop to maintain to build custom tools.

Pikecrete/Pykrete MethodEdit

Please refer to materials section for a detailed explanation. Pykrete consists of sawdust mixed with water, which is then frozen. This could potentially be used to create a strong artificial iceberg of sorts.

Pikecrete can serve as an extremely strong island material, it has the same strength as concrete but it floats. It can be used to hold a foundation until a permanent location is found. Alternately, if you would like to roam, just make a mold of a vessel and then pour it onto the mold with a flat top as a foundation. It could also potentially serve as a boxing fence to pour in dirt or sand to form an island.


  • Inexpensive
  • Weather-resistant
  • Good for short-term use
  • Can be applied to the entire construction from sea-bed to above-sea level


  • Will eventually melt unless continuously cooled.
    • Subsequent freezing or refreezing can be costly as well
    • Any failure to power or cooling facilities may lead to imminent structural failure.
  • Using it to construct an entire island can be expensive as a barge with dirt or other, terra-firma materials are needed and can be costly
  • Production of a mold is necessary
  • In practice, hard to actually use.[1]

Note: It may be possible to use these disadvantages as advantages. It should be possible to build a vessel from pykrete and use it to transport raw materials en-masse to the site and then use them. No costly ship to return and this would also be biodegradable.

Volcano MethodEdit

Many islands have been formed as the result of undersea volcanic activity - the Hawaiian Islands are an example. A volcano is simply a point where the molten rock has squeezed through a fissure leading to the surface of the earth. Theoretically if an appropriate point can be found where a volcano can be stimulated by drilling or placement of explosive on the ocean floor, a subsequent eruption may form a cone of lava that reaches above the surface of the water.


  • Creates a sturdy and solid landform; weathering will eventually turn the igneous rock surface into fertile soil.


  • Immensely expensive and disruptive to the local ecology
  • No technology exists to stabilize a volcano once one has been formed
  • Location would be dictated by existing geological structures
  • Would take an extremely long time

Sand Build-up MethodEdit

All you need is water (estuaries/pool of water) and sand/loam. First dump sand/loam into the water. Then when it reaches the sea level carve it with your hands. Do it again and again until it stands on its own.


  • Sturdy if stabilized with plants
  • Plants can be used if loam is used
  • Kid-Friendly - Easy to do on a small scale in a household container.
  • Closely related with Dumping Method


  • Expensive - Sand is quite valuable.
  • Easily eroded
  • Doesn't provide a large amount of quality space.
  • Not suitable for all environments.