Early concepts of soils focused principally on soils as a medium for the growth of higher plants. Therefore, although occasionally there were efforts to recognize or consider materials permanently covered with water as soils, submersed earthy materials or sediments generally had been considered not to be soils, and therefore had been relegated to the geological, rather than to the pedological, realm. Over the last couple of decades, however, there have been scientific discoveries leading to philosophical changes in the attitudes of scientists toward the concept of soils. These have been reflected in changes in the published definitions of soils both in Soil Taxonomy (1999) and in the World Reference Base (2006). This paper will review the scientific work that contributed to philosophical changes leading to the broad recognition and acceptance of the concept of subaqueous soils, and will highlight foundational contributions that have permitted extension of the pedological paradigm into subaqueous environments.