It sounds like a great idea: Grab a cleaving iceberg from the Greenland coast and live on it until it melts into the sea, getting a first-hand glimpse at the effects of climate change. But how exactly would one live on an iceberg? Inside this giant ball, of course.
Outside has the story of Alex Bellini, an Italian explorer who plans to make a year-long trip inside this floating survival capsule. It was originally designed by engineer Julian Sharpe as a rescue pod for two to ten people in tsunamis. Bellini is tearing out the extra seats and making a one-bedroom apartment out of the aircraft-grade aluminium orb, which has an inner lining that rotates so the floor inside will always remain level.
Here's one of the two-person versions, available to order now!
Why a ball? The shape makes it the best way to weather an ice-strewn Arctic sea:
"It's strong enough to survive a storm at sea or getting crushed between two icebergs. It will rest on top of the ice using either its own weight or a specially designed stand that will detach if the berg rolls. The circular shape is crucial for avoiding a crushing blow. The capsule will just roll off any incoming mass, and the water will provide an equal and opposite reaction to any force exerted on the capsule. "A multicurved surface is almost uncrushable," Sharpe said. "If you imagine shooting an arrow at a wooden ball, unless you hit dead center, it will ricochet."
Of greater concern are the physical and psychological tolls of ball-living. Solar panels and a turbine will power the craft (and provide him with wifi, thank goodness), but Bellini will not be able to venture outside the womb-like apartment very often. He plans to use a stationary bike and install an illumination system that simulates natural light.
The ball should be ready to start rolling in about a year, and Bellini plans to turn his adventure into a book. In the meantime, the project also acts as excellent marketing for Sharpe, who envisions that his capsule will come in handy due to rising sea levels. Will we soon all have our own balls at home, waiting for the storms to come? [Outside via @Core77]
Picture: Julian Sharpe/Survival Capsules