The South Korean space horror series ‘The Silent Sea’ is set in a dystopic future. Water has become the rarest and most precious commodity, which has resulted in governments implementing regulations to control its distribution. Captain Han Yunjae (Gong Yoo), astrobiologist turned ethologist Dr. Song Jian (Kim Sun-young), and the rest of the crew of Nuri 11 are tasked to travel to the Balhae Lunar Research Station and retrieve something known as the “Sample.” Here is everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.
What Is the Sample in The Silent Sea?
Five years before the current events, 117 people died in a disastrous incident at Balhae. During a meeting before the mission, the Nuri 11 crew are told that they are to retrieve an important “Sample” before the station is shut down for good. The sample is kept in capsules created to maintain a low temperature. After landing on the moon, the crew has 24 hours to find the sample. When Dr. Song asks for more information on the substance, Director Choi claims they don’t know much about it. This is later proven to be false. She has all the information she can possibly need to warn the crew about what they will face at the facility but chooses to suppress it.
It is initially believed that capsules carrying the substance can be found in the three storages. The Nuri 11 crew discovers plenty of capsules, but all of them are empty. When Gisu finds a capsule that actually has the substance inside it, he gets fatally attacked. It is later revealed that the attacker is a young girl named Luna, the sole survivor of the disaster from five years ago.
The crew finds numerous dead bodies all over the facility. According to the official reports, these people died after a radiation leak, but the crew of Nuri 11 discovers that the dead bodies have signs consistent with drowning. They later find secret storage filled with capsules with the substance still inside.
What Is Lunar Water?
The Sample and lunar water are one and the same. It’s the substance that the crew has come to Balhae to collect. There are certain things about lunar water that distinguishes it from ordinary water. When it is exposed to organic material, it starts to multiply exponentially. So, if even a molecule of it gets inside a person, they can drown from within. That’s what happened to the researchers and staff members at Balhae five years ago. They studied cell fusion and genetic combinations to create a method through which they can make lunar water consumable. They made clones to perform their tests on. Luna is the clone with whom they succeeded.
After a few researchers were exposed to lunar water, Director Choi and the rest of the government were afraid about how the public would react if they found out about the atrocities committed at Balhae. So, they decided to suppress the entire incident. The military was sent to ensure that no one escaped from the facility. Director Choi selected Dr. Song for this very purpose. She concluded that Dr. Song wouldn’t go public with her findings because it would destroy the reputation of her sister, who was the head of the research at Balhae.