What Happened to Earth in The Silent Sea?

The South Korean thriller series ‘The Silent Sea’ is set on a dystopic Earth. The show begins by offering an exposition on the planet’s bleak state and providing the narrative with a sense of urgency. It revolves around a crew of astronauts traveling to a base on the moon to retrieve a mysterious substance. The urgency within the narrative is further amplified by the fact that they have to complete the mission within 24 hours. If you are curious to know what actually happened to Earth that turned it into a barren and desolate planet, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.

What Happened to Earth in The Silent Sea?

Earth in ‘The Silent Sea’ is a dying planet, and as humans don’t have an alternate world to go, they are dying with it. All over the world, experiments are being conducted to find a sustainable solution without much success. Climate change evidently has had an apocalyptic effect on the planet. As we learn from the news clips shown at the start of the first episode, the average annual rainfall has hit the lowest point in consecutive years. Rivers and oceans have begun rapidly drying up. The latter poses a significant challenge for desalination plants. Although the series doesn’t mention anything about groundwater or water beneath Earth’s surface, it’s safe to assume that it’s gone, along with the polar ice caps.

According to an organization called the World Water Resource Council, the world’s water will be further reduced by 40% in a decade. Infant mortality has reached an alarming high likely due to the consumption of contaminated water. In fact, the disease that Captain Han’s daughter has is linked to the poor quality of water she consumes. Her doctor tells Captain Han that he needs a higher water classification to stop the spread of her disease. Otherwise, her condition will continue to get worse, and she will lose her legs.

Various governments and private corporations have begun heavily investing in vertical farming to stop water wastage in agriculture. It is also a response to the global food shortage because of widespread drought. Water has become the most precious commodity in the world. And the South Korean government has introduced regulations in its distribution. However, like most other government schemes, the process is rife with corruption and inequality. Legislation to abolish the water supply regulations has been rejected in the country’s assembly multiple times. People have taken to the streets demanding a fairer distribution process.

The elites of the society have a gold card that gives them access to unlimited water. After her sister’s death, Dr. Song received one. The rest of the crew members are told that they will be promoted to Class A water grade after completing the mission and returning to Earth.

Keeping pets has come to be viewed as an unaffordable luxury and has been illegalized. Hiding dogs or other pets from a government bent on euthanizing them is now regarded as a societal problem. This is the Earth from which Captain Han and his crew leave for the Balhae Lunar Research Station. What they find there just might hold the key to human salvation.

Read More: The Silent Sea Ending, Explained