Speculative Oceanography: An Historical Survey of the Literature

Jim Clarke

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As a fundamentally interdisciplinary sector of study, oceanography spans not only the physical and chemical attributes of large saline aquatic environments, but also overlaps with biological considerations of oceanic flora and fauna, and incorporates a wide variety of sub-topics, from orbital wave dynamics, to plate tectonics, to acoustic oceanography. As a major component of the planetary surface, oceans therefore additionally form a significant component of Earth Science study, particularly in an era of ongoing and accelerating climate change. However, one interdisciplinary intersection which has largely been hitherto underexplored is that of oceanography’s overlap with the speculative arts, a subset which might be termed speculative oceanography. This paper intends to address this gap in research by collating and reprising existing speculative oceanography, in order to identify and codify the broad areas of interest and future study which arise there from. One such area identified, which explores the oceanographic properties of non-terrestrial large aquatic bodies, is herein termed exo-oceanography, for example. The paper concludes with a call for greater interdisciplinary co-operation between oceanographic researchers and speculation methodologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalAdvances in Oceanography & Marine Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2020

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License AOMB.MS.ID.000528.


  • oceanography
  • speculative fiction
  • mermaids
  • sea monsters
  • predatory journals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Aquatic Science


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