Why can't spaceships go underwater?

The trouble I see with that question is a lack of criteria for the desired answers: It doesn't quite ask for the design a spaceship which can go underwater; it doesn't ask how to prevent anybody from building a spaceship which can go underwater.
It simply states that many spaceships, to the knowledge of the asker, cannot go underwater, and then asks why.

See, it almost is a worldbuilding question: it seems to ask for the reasons why a spaceship cannot “go underwater”. However, it bases this on putative examples in real world engineering or in science fiction — not in its own worldbuilding.

  • $\begingroup$ I think if it asked for a reason spaceships would be unable to go under water that would be fine. As is it appears to be asking for reasons that spaceships in existing continuities can't go under water and so is off topic. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 19:22
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Is questioning a well known trope on topic? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Renan That was only half of it; the other half — unclear what the question was asking — was resolved in an edit to the question. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ I don't quite think that this is a duplicate. It does indeed deserve the specific-question which Kjörling added, and probably even moreso than the question referenced as a duplicate. That one is more generic; this one is more specific as regarding one question. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


As per the cited precedent, the question itself is more or less an acceptable one.

The lack of technical details inherent in the question is what unjustly shifted focus away from the answers: the most popular answer is a Community Wiki collection of examples which does little to explain hows and wherefores.
The trouble is mostly with that answer — not so much with the question, especially now that it was edited to refine the purpose.


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