The world’s largest cruise ship is making its first transatlantic crossing from Finland to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where it will make its U.S. debut. Though colossal, the ship relies on the same physical principles as its smaller brethren to stay afloat.
The massive ship, called the Oasis of the Seas and built by STX Finland for Royal Caribbean International, stands 20 stories high, is as long as four football fields, and can accommodate 5,400 guests at double occupancy.
The two typical measures of size are length and weight, which is measured as displacement, or the weight of water the ship must displace to stay afloat. "She is 1,180 feet long and displaces 100,000 tons," said Paul Miller of the Department of Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, referring to the Oasis of the Seas.
For comparison, the RMS Titanic, which sank in 1912, was 883 feet long (269 meters) and weighed about 58,000 tons.
In terms of space available, the Oasis is nearly five times larger than the Titanic. Specifically, the Oasis can hold 225,282 gross registered tons, while the Titanic could hold 46,329 grt.
This measurement was derived long ago to describe a ship’s space for a common cargo — wine. Since wine was shipped in "tuns" that each held 8 barrels or about 242 gallons, a ship that could carry 8,000 wine barrels was considered a 1,000-tun ship. "Tun" evolved into "ton" and then into "gross registered ton."
The Oasis is 50 percent larger than the runner-up, which is a group of Freedom-class ships (such as Freedom of the Seas), according to Royal Caribbean International.
Archive for November, 2009
Nov 24 2009
Should you ever fly over San Francisco Bay, be sure to peer out of the window in order to catch a glimpse of one of the world’s most incredibly coloured landscapes. It’s hard to believe that the cause of such a vibrant display is plain old salt.
hese beautifully coloured patches are in fact salt evaporation ponds; wetlands now dedicated to salt production. The Kite Aerial Photography website explains the colouring brilliantly;
‘The palette of colors that makes the salt ponds such a vibrant sight reflects a complex ecosystem. Colors in salt ponds range from pale green to deep coral pink, and indicate the salinity of the ponds. Microorganisms create these spectacular colors, changing their own hues in response to increasing salinity. In low-to mid-salinity ponds, green algae proliferate, lending the water a green cast. As the salinity increases, an algae called Dunaliella out-competes the other microorganisms in the pond, and the color shifts to an even lighter shade of green. In mid-to high-salinity ponds, high salt concentrations actually cause the Dunaliella to produce a red pigment. Millions of tiny brine shrimp in mid-salinity ponds contribute an orange cast to the water. Halophilic (salt-loving) bacteria such as Stichococcus also contribute red tints to high-salinity brine. Weather can affect the colors of the ponds. When wind creates choppy conditions, the colors appear murkier. Heavy rain can dilute the brine, causing the colors to shift toward the hues found in lower-salinity ponds or even turn the water clear.’