Jaws were dropping all around when our own Adam Frucci brought back video of his harrowing 377-foot-high ride in a glass-bottomed car on the Odaiba Ferris Wheel in Tokyo, but now the Chinese are going to top that wheel with the tallest one in the world. Today, construction began on the Great Wheel of China, a $99 million Ferris wheel that will tower over Beijing at a stupendous 680 feet when construction is complete in 2009. This is not just any Ferris wheel, though.
You won't be sitting in swinging and swaying benches on this baby. Each one of its 48 cars is like a gondola, air-conditioned and holding 40 passengers, for a total of 1920 stomachs pressed against the top of their abdominal cavities as the big wheel keeps on turnin'. Nobody's talking about how long it'll take to load this beast. Too bad there was so much bickering over the design of the gigantic wheel, because originally the plan was to complete construction in time for next summer's Beijing Olympics. [MSNBC, via Spluch]