This spokeless Ferris wheel just opened in eastern China. Instead of rotating around a central axle—like a typical Ferris wheel—the Bailang River Bridge Ferris Wheel features a circular track that carries its 36 carriages around the wheel’s circumference. A motor at the base powers the 28-minute roundtrip ride.
The wheel is a giant circle built from small triangles. Both are strong shapes, says Rebecca Thompson, a physicist at the American Physical Society. Removing the heavy spokes from the center reduces both the total weight and the amount of energy required to rotate the wheel. “From a physics perspective, this seems like a much more intelligent design,” says Thompson.