This turtle-shaped floating city could be the tourist destination of the future

Some ancient civilizations believed that the world was completely flat, while others thought that it existed on the back of a giant cosmic turtle. We know now better, of course, but there is still a sense of awe and wonder at the thought of living on a floating creature. Then again, that’s what cruise ships actually do, with the romantic notion of being on a turtle’s back. Never say never, as they say, and one luxury yacht company is proposing exactly something like that with a “terayacht” that can host around 60,000 people on a fantastic voyage across the seas that is equal parts terrific and terrifying, considering everything that could go wrong in the middle of the ocean.

Designer: Pierpaolo Lazzarini

Given the congestion in urban areas and other land problems, humans have set their eyes not only on the stars but also on the seas for their next habitats. Instead of just “reclaiming” land, some designs envision floating cities and communities that would hopefully be kinder to their environment. Of course, most of these structures are designed to provide stable housing and locations, so they are meant to be rooted to one spot. As its name suggests, however, this gigantic yacht, if you could still call it a yacht, is meant to travel instead.

Named after the supercontinent believed to have existed in Earth’s prehistoric past, Pangeos would become the largest floating structure to be constructed, spanning 550 meters (1800 ft) long and 610 meters (2000 ft) at its widest point. Despite that size, the ship is engineered to cruise at a speed of five knots or around 9.26 kph using jet drive transmission from 9 HTS engines, each with 16,800 hp of power. More than its massive size, however, the real appeal of Pangeos is what it contains and what it is made for: human luxury.

If a luxury cruise ship can be called a floating hotel, Pangeos is pretty much a floating resort city. It will contain everything that humans will need to live in comfort for weeks or even months, including hotels, shopping centers, parks, and other facilities. And since it wouldn’t be safe to actually take a dip in the surrounding ocean, it also has extra-long swimming pools on the turtle’s “wings.” The floating city will have a marina and even its own airport to get guests on and off. All in all, it is planned to accommodate up to 60,000 guests, which doesn’t yet count the thousands of crew needed to man this giant turtle.

Since it will almost be impossible to completely power this terayacht using fuel alone, Pangeos is designed to be self-sustaining and, in a way, a little bit sustainable. Solar panels line the rooftop areas, while the large wings will gather energy from breaking waves. This would make it possible for the turtle ship to travel the Earth without emissions, or at least that’s the idea. Whether it’s a smart idea is a different matter, but there’s little question that it is an enticing idea, one that could actually be made real by 2033.

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A conceptual boat marries sustainability, design, and technology to spread an environmental message

Now that a lot of people are traveling again, “revenge travel” is the name of the game. But do we really think about the carbon footprint that going to different places brings? While the aviation industry has been accused of producing a huge amount of carbon emissions, the bigger culprit is actually maritime transport. Not only does it account for more CO2 emissions than planes, it also has brought damage to the marine ecosystem and has contributed to ocean acidification.

A concept boat called the MS Porrima is aiming to share the technology and innovation that the shipping industry can adopt in order to have a more sustainable kind of transport. The boat is actually meant for environmental research and its main philosophy is to show how sustainable technology can be used to lessen carbon emissions and reduce carbon footprint significantly. The ship is expected to traverse five continents and make more than a dozen stops ever since it launched back in December 2021. It’s targeting to go back to Japan where it first set sail by 2025 just in time for the World Expo.

Designer: Gunter Pauli / Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Of course, since environmental research and education is its main goal, the ship itself uses several sustainable practices and technology. There is a miniature farm that cultivates spirulina algae and mushrooms which can be eaten by the crew and guests aboard the ship. They also use air bubble nets that separate the fish by weight and can help prevent overfishing. The reproductive females, noted by their weight due to the eggs, are thrown back into the ocean. The ship is also largely powered by solar panels and will also get a filter that will convert nano plastics from seawater into hydrogen fuel.

But aside from these sustainable features, the ship’s design is also created to help in “promoting Porrima’s environmental message”. Since the ship itself is not as huge compared to others (it’s 118-foot long and 79-foot wide), they are also working with limited storage space. The VIP suite and the main hall draw inspiration from Russian matryoshka dolls, Japanese origami, and Swiss Army knives. This means their storage fit inside one another like the famous dolls and they have tables, seats, and shelves that can fold into walls like origami. The main hall is actually convertible into various functional rooms: classroom, library, exhibition space, and even dining room.

The ship will also be displaying various artworks including those of painter and theorist Michelangelo Pistolleto. He is the proponent of the idea of the “Third Paradise” which finds the balance between nature and technology. The Porrima’s journey will be all about educating the public, academics, industry leaders, and more importantly, students, about how the two can work together and the ship is a prime example of that.

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Glass Ship in a Bottle Liquor Decanter: Grog Me!

Because fancy liquor demands a fancy decanter, retailer of things you didn’t know you needed Firebox is selling this very nautical $70 Ship In A Bottle Decanter. It features a borosilicate glass ship in a 750ml bottle, complete with cork stopper (ignore the glass one in the photos) for a satisfying ‘pop’ whenever it’s rum time. It’s five o’clock somewhere, right? Which means it’s also one o’clock somewhere else and time for my nap.

Obviously, any pirate captain would be remiss to not have a ship in a bottle decanter in his cabin. I mean without one how could his crew take him seriously and not mutiny? Just like the song goes, “Yo, ho, ho, and a ship in a bottle of rum.” It’s practically a requisite for not having to walk the plank.

I really want one, but I’m torn. On the one hand, my nautical/tiki themed office pretty much demands this ship in a bottle decanter be on display. But on the other hand, a hook. Get it? Pirate joke! Yarrrrrr!


LEGO’s DIY “ship in the bottle” is much more fun than owning the real thing!

Looking every bit like the real deal, the Ship In A Bottle is the latest from the clever master-builders at LEGO Ideas who churn out magical numbers such as the LEGO Typewriter we saw last week. Made using 962 pieces of LEGO (although a majority of them are just the water under the ship), the Ship In A Bottle comes with everything you’d expect, including a ship with 3 sails, a transparent bottle, a stand, a nameplate (the ship’s called the Leviathan), and even a cork-stopper made from LEGO bricks!

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I’m not really a LEGO fanboy, so this is the first time I’m seeing a LEGO bottle made from actual transparent pieces. The bottle assembles around the ship, making it much easier to build the ship first and then construct the bottle (as opposed to authentic ship-in-bottles that are painstakingly assembled within pre-existing glass bottles). The bottle sports its own stopper, with a wax seal, all made from LEGO bricks, and rests on a nifty decorative stand, with a faux compass underneath. All in all, the entire artifact measures 3 inches in height, and 13 inches in width, making it a perfect thing to place on a mantelpiece or bookshelf.

Like all LEGO Ideas projects, the Ship In The Bottle started out as a fan-made design (from LEGO master-builder JakeSadovich77) that was voted the most popular creation by the LEGO community. Based on these votes, LEGO selected the idea and brought it to life. The LEGO Ship In The Bottle is now available on LEGO’s online store as well as on Amazon.

Designer: JakeSadovich77 for LEGO

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Sinking Ship Cocktail Glass: You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

Presumably inspired by the Titanic (which also had four smokestacks and sank), this is the Sinking Ship cocktail glass available from FireBox. The $19 drinking vessel has a handblown glass ship inside, so you can pretend you’re Poseidon releasing his wrath upon humanity by swirling the glass to create a whirlpool and making a mess all over the living room carpet.

I’ve heard of a ship in a bottle before, but never a ship in a glass. FireBox suggests mixing a blue curaçao based drink in the vessel and adding a few large ice cubes for Titanic realism or filling the glass with coffee liqueur to resemble an oil spill. Alternatively, fill the glass with red sangria and pretend sharks are having a feeding frenzy.

The borosilicate glass is hand-wash only and comes with a warning to add ice cubes carefully and not just toss them in willy-nilly, because the last thing you want is to break off a jagged piece of glass then accidentally swallow it thinking it’s ice. Speaking from firsthand experience, that can really ruin date night.

Shaped like a zip-fastener, this 9 meter long Japanese ship zips through water, diving it in two!

Forget everything crazy that’s happened in 2020, plug in your favorite relaxing music, and play this ship video in the loop! The sight of the serene waters being unzipped like a winter jacket is pure ASMR, and that’s what creativity is all about. Exploring the different expressions of water – the infinite perspectives we can all have about things we see, feel, or project in our lifetime. With a hope that 2021 will bring in some semblance of normalcy, this pal is the Zip-Fastener Ship contrived by Japanese artist Yasuhiro Suzuki which resonates with the spirit of creation even when things are not going as planned!

One fine day when the sun was beating down on the Tokyo Bay, Yasuhiro witnessed the sight of a boat opening up the sea like a zipper from an airplane. Perhaps a coincidence or sheer sign from the universe to churn up the idea of a ship that actually looks like a zipper was seeded in the artist’s mind who apparently has a knack for drawing inspiration from everyday objects. The cool-looking zipper ship is 9-meters long has a chrome-colored body, bridge, and a puller that gives it the distinct zipper-like form factor that anyone would mistake for a water surface unzipper when viewed from the skies above. It’s the utmost artistic nature of the design with its element of whimsy that makes the idea stand out from the crowd!

Yasuhiro Suzuki’s design was a part of the DESIGNART Tokyo 2020 as it bemused onlookers diving the Sumida River between the bridges of Azumabashi and Sakurabashi from October 31 to November 8, daily -12 noon to 2 pm. Sumida River Sumi-Yume Art Project on their event page expressed, “If you look at the gently flowing Sumida River, you can see the swaying water that changes its shape due to the splash of waves that the ship has set up on the sparkling water surface that reflects the sky. As the ‘Fastener Ship’ sails, we will bring out and convey the various expressions of water that lurks around us.”

Designer: Yasuhiro Suzuki