What will they come up with next?
The Ocean Dome, the world’s largest indoor beach, Kyushu Island, Japan (about 1,500 kilometers south of Tokyo) — 300 meters in length and 100 meters in width, with a height of 38 meters, it can accommodate 10,000 people.
Designed by the Mitsubishi Heavy Industrial Group and opened in July 1993 at a cost of 200 billion yen ($2 billion), the pool has yet to turn over profits, despite catering to daily throngs of tourists.
A heated ocean with a width of 140 meters sends 13,500 tons of salt-free water sweeping across 600 tons of polished marble chips that constitute a 85-metre long shoreline, ringed by a three-story promenade of shops. Every fifteen minutes, the volcano smokes to life. Every hour, on the hour, it spews fake flames.
All of a sudden, the artificial ocean turns tubular, thanks to Ocean Dome’s enormous computer, which commands 10 large vacuum pumps to start sucking in sea, then spitting out a series of cool crests. Teams of professional surfers provide entertainment as they ride 3.5-metre waves (1,800 tons of water are required for each surfable wave).
Australian surfer Matthew Pitts has performed in the Dome’s wavepool shows for eight years now, admitting: “I have the best job, surfing all day in the ocean, then getting barrelled every night in the Ocean Dome. Plus, I’m getting paid for it!”
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