The post-World War I climate of Europe in the 1920’s inspired some interesting ideas aimed at preventing future conflict in and around the continent.
Some ideas were wholly impractical (even outright insane), but the one we’re looking at today sounds actually pretty interesting, even if it would have catastrophically changed the world as we know it.
A plot to dry up the Mediterranean Sea came from one German architect’s hopes to provide abundant energy, land and connectivity between Europe and Africa. If it sounds like a great plot point to a dystopian sci-fi novel, you’re half right.
1. A Plan So Wacky, It Made Its Way Into A Famed 1963 Alternate History Novel, And Current TV Series
The German art-inspired nationalistic effort to sculpt borders and shift ancient waterways was mentioned in Philip K. Dick’s novel The Man in The High Castle, which details an alternate reality where the Nazis won World War II. The book has been adapted into a series currently available on Amazon. Dick based his fantasy on the real-life plan of an architect in pre-Nazi Germany.
2. Herman Sorgel Was A German Architect Who Combined Engineering With Philosophy
Sorgel envisioned solving the territorial concerns of Europe in the early 20th century by undertaking what would be one of the world’s largest civil engineering endeavors, even by today’s standards. Draining the Mediterranean sea would create new land that would connect Europe and Africa.
But how do Europeans spreading over seawater and spilling out onto Africa solve territorial tension? By providing cheap electricity to power a global economy, and more.
3. Dam It, Europe’s Energy Bill Would Plummet
The Mediterranean is fed by the mighty Atlantic Ocean and evaporates at a high rate. Dams placed at the sea’s mouth at the Strait of Gibraltar, at the middle point of the sea between Italy and Tunisia, and at the east near Turkey, would collectively generate unheard of amounts of electricity.
This power would be needed to address one the side-effects of the dams.
4. The Dried Up Sea Would Make A Land Bridge To Combine Two Continents
The plan would make Africa more accessible to Europe, as roads could be built over the dams. In some spots, landbridges would form, further connecting the continents. The receding sea water would give Mediterranean coastal countries more land as well. Sorgel believed that this land could solve population and agricultural concerns and provide new opportunities, both in Europe and across the dried-up sea.