Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Land Boat

boat carries liquid with it to float on
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The land boat would be equipped with a massive electromagnet in its hull that would pull its own private sea of mercury.

The mercury would form to the terrain that is was flowing over and always create a flat top surface so the boat would never be going uphill, it would only be going forward using a conventional boat motor.

The land boat could thus cross the country using no roads at all. Plus, it could be weighed down with as much cargo that could fit without needing any boyancy because solid steel would float on mercury (Gold would possibly make it sink)

The sheer weight of the collection and the cancer- causing effects of mercury would make it fairly harmful to the environment wherever it went, but the magnet would pick up any metallic trash on the ground underneath it, making up a little for the harm.

jellyfisherman, Jun 13 2008

Mercury not magnetic http://www.madsci.o...866691867.Ch.r.html
Sorry [GutPunchLullabies, Jun 13 2008]

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       Maybe you could use that steel-in-oil emulsion stuff?
GutPunchLullabies, Jun 13 2008
  

       Even if you could pull a "sea" of ferrous material (metal shavings or ball bearings) around the hull, the boat would not float on the material. The boat would stay in place on the ground, surrounded by tiny metal objects, regardless of the conventional boat motor. You'd remain ashore, like some kind of Land Boat.
Amos Kito, Jun 13 2008
  

       How about a sail?
lostdog, Jun 13 2008
  

       hmm... mercury isn't magnetic, huh? how about a "sea" of molten iron? the boat would have to be extremely heat resistant and the danger level would increase from "Kids, stay away from that boat or you might get cancer" to "Kids, stay away from that boat or you'll be fried to a crisp" Boat would also leave trail of fire when going over plant matter, making it look even cooler.
jellyfisherman, Jun 13 2008
  

       Molten iron isn't magnetic either (really not your day, eh?)
GutPunchLullabies, Jun 13 2008
  

       I'm pretty sure that this land boat would not be able to pick up its private sea entirely. There would always be a bit left and the private sea would dwindle in size as the boat travelled.   

       I don't think you can make this work at all. But it was pretty cool to imagine so I won't bone it.
Bad Jim, Jun 13 2008
  

       yeah, i know, it loses its magnetism at a temperature well below melting. I guess the ball bearing idea is next best, but that would be like pushing a boat through sand, if not much more difficult.
jellyfisherman, Jun 13 2008
  
      
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