Between climate change, natural disasters, and nuclear fallout, it can feel like humanity is careening toward a species-ending catastrophe faster than you can say “extinction.” Although most of us would prefer to dwell on the positives, and what we can do to ward off such a disaster, there are some who would rather be prepared for the worst.
Japanese design studio Takram recently received an interesting challenge: create a water bottle that might come in handy after a hypothetical future environmental disaster. When water supplies are contaminated, our current solution is to truck in bottled water. But what if all fresh water supplies are compromised, and we eventually run out of water? Takram imagined that we might need something more sophisticated than a bottle.
In fact, the Shenu: Hydrolemic System isn’t a bottle at all. It’s a set of artificial organs that would be implanted as a way to turn the human body into a water collecting–and conserving–machine. The system would form a sophisticated network of water retention devices, preventing expulsion of water through our renal and digestive systems, and turning our body heat into electricity so we don’t waste precious liquid through perspiration.
As pointed out in this review, Takram also imagined nasal cavity inserts designed to inhibit the loss of water through exhalation, a hydrolemic bladder that would act as both a microcosmic water filtration and uric concentration plant, and hard shelled, liquid centered candies (pictured below) that would contain the new daily-required intake of nutrients and just 32 mL of water.
All of this might sound a little far-fetched, but with a confirmed global water crisis and rising sea levels, we can’t assume that abundant fresh water will be around forever. Technology will have to come to the rescue, and instead of altering our environment, this time, we may be altering ourselves.