Ferris wheel originated as a leisure ride that usually completes a cycle in matter of minutes, but since 2000, the idea of Ferris wheel is no longer carnival or amusement park exclusive when London Eye, which are basically fancy words for a huge-ass super slow-moving Ferris wheel with motorized capsules, opened to the public as a tourist sightseeing ride. Since London Eye (which stands 135 meters or 443 feet), a few other countries have followed suit to erect their own version of the Eye, though of course, those aren’t referred to as [insert city name] Eye.
The most recent giant size observation wheel would be Las Vegas’ aptly name High Roller which is holds the record as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, beating Singapore Flyer by a good nine feet (2.7 meters). Apparently, Ferris wheel is something of an interest to China too, particularly to Weifang city in Shandong province and like many China’s endeavors of late, it had to stake claim on something, like being the tallest at 475 feet (145 meters).
Wait. That’s no taller than Singapore Flyer, much less the High Roller in Vegas, is it? No, it is not, but still, it bagged the largest because, spokeless. That’s right, towering above the Bailang River in Weifang city is the world’s largest spokeless Ferris wheel “Bohai Eye” which, at the first glance, leaves many puzzled as to how it even rotates. I am not going to lie. I was one of the many with question marks all over. So how did it managed?
Well, according to a report, the spokeless structure with an eccentric center is fixed. It is does not rotate. Instead, the center piece is where the magic happens; it is essentially a giant rotating ring with 36 capsules, each with a capacity of 10 pax, attached to it and hence, enabling the feat. Being a lot smaller, it naturally takes a shorter time to complete a revolution and in this case, it will take around 30 minutes which, to be honest, may feel like an eternity at this point in time since the surrounding is pretty much work-in-progress.
Lucky for the those who have taken in the views in their entirety within minutes (read: people who have absolutely zero interest and not sure why they are even there), there is a TV, as well as WiFi, onboard each capsule to keep them preoccupied until the excruciating slow ride ends. However, the world’s largest spokeless Ferris wheel is not opened to public yet, but it will be in due course. Surely, when it opens, those areas will not be done, will they?
And oh, apparently, the expected ticket price per person per revolution is 70 RMB which works out to be around US$10 based today’s rate.
Images: Xinhua Net.