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Semi-submersible Ferris wheel

Like the London Eye, but dipped in water.
  (+65, -1)(+65, -1)(+65, -1)
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This idea is a Ferris wheel like the London Eye but the bottom half is underwater. As you go round, your big transparent 'pod' goes deep underwater and then rises towards the surface and travels high up into the air.
A subtle modification of this idea would be to have the pods you travel round in divided into groups of three. The first pod in a group would be full of people. The second would be an aviary, full of birds. The third would be full of water and aquarium fish. As you look out of your pod then, deep underwater, you'll see your neighboring pod on one side full of birds, happily flying around. Later, when you've gone high up in the air, you can look at the pod on the other side and see hundreds of fish swimming about...
hippo, Feb 21 2002

(??) Family Ness http://www.weaverva...milyness/index2.htm
You can knock it, you can rock it, you can go to Timbuktu, but you'll never find a Nessie in the zoo... [salachair, Feb 22 2002]

"The Flood" http://news.bbc.co....85603003/html/1.stm
A film about London flooding [hippo, Aug 17 2007]

[link]






       Have it so the one pod scoops up fish and water on the way through, takes them around once and dumps them - more fun for the fish this way. Wouldn't work for the bird part. Wouldn't want the wheel to break down while you were in the underwater part.
rbl, Feb 21 2002
  

       I am trying to think of a body of water in Britain where going underwater in the pod would not treat you to a cavalcade of sludge. The Mersey? Urgh. The Thames? Ack. The Clyde? Boke. Perhaps it would be best placed on Loch Ness. Above water, bleak but spectacular scenery. Underwater, views of Nessie (and the Family Ness). Croissant.
calum, Feb 21 2002
  

       Yes - I was initially a bit dubious about this being in Loch Ness because Loch Ness is pretty murky, but the scoop attachment could make it work.
hippo, Feb 22 2002
  

       I thought of something like this awhile ago, but with rollercoasters and plexiglass underwater tubing.
RayfordSteele, Feb 22 2002
  

       Great idea. It might be good to put it beside the wreck of one of the old sunken Spanish Armada ships.   

       Would the buoyancy of the pods cause any problems though? I think you'd need a lot more energy to overcome the drag underwater.
stupop, Feb 22 2002
  

       Drag might be a problem but the pods are already pretty streamlined. The London Eye doesn't turn all that fast anyway.
wiml, Feb 23 2002
  

       A bad idea, as some idiot would pull off its mask and drown...
StarChaser, Feb 23 2002
  

       While I am all for ridding the world of idiots, the problem is that the OTHER idiots would sue...
StarChaser, Feb 23 2002
  

       Idiots abound. Make a fourth pod in the set for idiots. But alternately release one in the water and one in the air. Idiots avant garde.   

       bobz
bobzaguy, Feb 24 2002
  

       //entertainment gestalt// (from RT's annotation) - I wish I'd thought of that.
hippo, Feb 25 2002
  

       Here's a (chopped) quote from the song "Tightrope" by Laurie Anderson:   

       "Last night I dreamed I died and that my life had been rearranged into some kind of theme park. [...] And there was this big ferris wheel about half a mile out in the ocean, half in and half out of the water. And all my old boyfriends were on it. With their new girlfriends And the boys were waving and shouting and the girls were saying Eeek.   

       Then they disappeared under the surface of the water and when they came up again they were laughing and gasping for breath."
slacy, Feb 26 2002
  

       Agh! My subconscious HalfBakery lobe is channeling Laurie Anderson.
hippo, Mar 14 2002
  

       Excellent - the BBC have posted an illustration for this idea. See link.
hippo, Aug 17 2007
  

       I had to google that song. And the lyrics really are that weird - maybe more so.
wagster, Aug 17 2007
  

       You can't put half the London Eye underwater - the Thames isn't nearly that deep. In fact, there's only a couple of places in the UK (Loch Ness and Loch Morar) where there's water that deep that isn't half a mile offshore or more.   

       You could dip in and out though.   

       At London Eye speeds drag really isn't an issue, as long as the water itself isn't moving (much) and dragging the poor pods along with it. Buoyancy is certainly an issue: the pods weigh very much less than the water they'd displace. You could ballast them to about half the weight they displace - but more than that and you're losing on the swings (top half) what you gain on the roundabouts (bottom half).   

       All that said, a Bun. I love the idea.
Cosh i Pi, Aug 18 2007
  

       Superb idea. Would work really well in Pacific Islands where massive coral walls rise about 100ft or more from the sea floor and visibility underwater is often 50ft or more and there's usually plenty to see. Only problem I see with the London one (as in the photo) would be queing to get on - need a small flotilla of dinghys or pedallo thingies. Then again, we're not seeing it in 'normal' conditions are we ?
Hairy Sock, Aug 19 2007
  

       It would be expensive, though. Doable, but much more expensive than say the London Eye - much bigger stresses, because of the buoyancy issue, and all the sealing of the pods.   

       [Conskeptical] (my son) suggests that it should be the briefest of duckings - say no more than 30s - and the pods should be open. That would certainly remove the sealing issue, and very much reduce the buoyancy problem. Add considerably to the experience, too!
Cosh i Pi, Aug 19 2007
  

       Instead of worrying about the drag and bouyancy, let it work for you. Place the whole works on a river. Have fins on the cars that turn it into a giant water wheel. Aside form turning itself, it could also generate enough energy to power the lights and the air compressors (to keep the cabins pressurized).   

       I think its a crazy enough idea to work. Buns.
CNIII, Aug 22 2007
  

       [CNIII] Your suggestion certainly makes the drag work for you (but drag is negligible if you're going slowly enough anyway), but it doesn't help at all with the buoyancy issue. The problem with buoyancy is that it's like having very heavy pods (except that the "weight" of the pods is upwards, not downwards) - it doesn't much affect the energy consumption, but it means the whole structure has to be very much stronger, and therefore much more expensive to build, than an ordinary ferris wheel.   

       You can reduce the buoyancy forces by adding ballast to the pods, but that increases their weight when they're in the top part of the circuit. The optimum might be to have ballast equivalent to about half the buoyancy force for each pod - then the weight downwards in the top part of the circuit is equal to the nett buoyancy up in the bottom half. But the whole thing still needs to very much stronger than one that doesn't dip into the water.
Cosh i Pi, Aug 23 2007
  

       Have your 50th bun +
simonj, Jul 07 2010
  

       I'm sorry - I did not read anything other than the idea title.   

       +   

       Someone please build this!
Zimmy, Jul 09 2010
  

       By substituting cages for pods, this could be used to house the Guantanamo prisoners, who would be forever in transit, and therefore in legal limbo. And after hundreds of submersions in the bay, many would be willing to say anything to get off.
ldischler, Jul 09 2010
  

       // willing to say anything //   

       "i am Spartacus !"
8th of 7, Jul 09 2010
  

       This could be improved by the addition of naked scuba chicks.
nomocrow, Jul 11 2010
  

       How is that specific to this idea?
pertinax, Jul 11 2010
  

       Because you could have naked scuba chicks in the water and in the aquarium pods. And several in the aviaries, without the scuba gear.
nomocrow, Jul 14 2010
  

       I think [pertinax] is suggesting that naked scuba chicks wouldn't specifically improve *this* idea but would add an appealing frisson of naked scuba chickness to *any* idea - except "Vagina Jam", of course.
hippo, Jul 14 2010
  

       My new game is to hit the random button, and see if it's an NSC-amenable idea.
nomocrow, Jul 14 2010
  

       Coming soon, to an internet near you: ISO standards for NSC compatibility.
mouseposture, Jul 15 2010
  
      
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