Falkirk Wheel

800px-FalkirkWheelSide_2004_SeanMcClean.jpg (97 KB)

800px-Falkirk_half_way_round.jpg (91 KB)

The Falkirk Wheel, named after the nearby town of Falkirk in central Scotland, is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, which at this point differ by 35 metres in height.

It consists of two diametrically opposed caissons which always weigh the same whether or not they are carrying their capacity of 600 tonnes of floating canal barges. According to Archimedes’ principle floating objects displace their own weight in water. This keeps the wheel balanced and so, despite its enormous mass, it rotates through 180° in less than four minutes while using very little power.

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    11 Responses to Falkirk Wheel

    1. i can’t look at it without imagining boats launched through the air.


    2. That is fucking amazing. And a work of art.


    3. Drive passed it most days, shame Falkirk is a fucking mess 🙂


    4. People are really ingenious sometimes. This is awesome.


    5. If I recall, the elevators in the Eiffel Tower works the same way, only of course people don’t displace their own weight in air, so it requires someone at the top to displace someone at the bottom.


    6. My relatives are always sending me postcards, photos, souvenirs from that place… I swear to god, I’ll scream if I get another bottle opener with “Falkirk Wheel” written on it xD


    7. Man… I love this… Like the canal locks they use in the Netherlands, just a whole lot cooler.


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