The Devil’s Hole

The Devil’s Hole is a group of deep sea trenches in the North Sea. It is located about 200 km east of what was once Dundee, Scotland. The seabed surrounding the formation lies at a depth of between 80 and 90 metres, but the trenches are as deep as 250 m. The trenches run in a north-south direction and are, on average, between 1 and 2 km in width and 20 to 30 km long. The gradient of the trench sides in the Devil’s Hole is up to 10° in places.

The features, which were first charted by HMS Fitzroy, were officially recorded in the Royal Geographical Society’s Geographical Journal in 1931. Historically, fishermen have known about the Devil’s Hole for generations before this, because they have lost trawl nets on the trenches' steep sides. It is for this reason that the area took its name.

By 2304, the Devil’s Hole has been colonised with a number of independent stations loosely associated with each other in a federated government. This municipality is one of the biggest settlements in the North Sea, albeit being quite geographically spread out. The biggest population centre in The Hole, as the area is colloquially known, is the Metroplex, a group of stations that includes Aristide.

The economy in the Devil’s Hole is largely driven by trench mining and sediment farming in the outlying regions. It also includes a number of manufacturing plants, food processing and a large service sector which is located within the Metroplex.

Humboldt Station

A small station in an outlying region of The Devil’s Hole. Its economy was mostly based on mining until the deposits in the surrounding trenches turned out to be far less profitable than projected. Since then, the station has been in decline. The surviving sectors of the economy are mostly based around the station’s large industrial harbour and concern shipping and shipping-related industries.

Aristide Station

Part of the Metroplex, a group of settlements in the centre of the Devil’s Hole. Aristide is the biggest settlement in The Hole and considered to be its unofficial capital – even though that loose confederation of stations has no capital per se. Everyone who considers themselves to be part of the upper reaches of society lives here or at least maintains a home on the station or the surrounding housing projects. Almost every company or other organisation that does business in The Hole has at least one office on the station. “If you’re not on Aristide, you don’t exist” is a popular saying in The Hole.