Posted by Dabney B. on Friday, January 27th, 2012
It’s possible to cut a person in half with water. I’m not talking about a frozen sheet of ice sharpened into a blade or a piece of metal that is propelled by water power – I’m talking about a jet of water slicing through you like a guillotine through hot butter.
Cutting through a person is small potatoes for UHP (ultra high pressure) technology. Here’s a clip of a stream of water cutting through 10 inches of steel.
So why am I telling you this? I wanted to make sure you knew about how absurdly powerful high water pressure can be. This helps me set the stage for King Fahd’s Fountain in Saudi Arabia, the world’s tallest fountain.
Here are a few numbers just to familiarize yourself with this record-breaking fountain. This fountain shoots water into the air at 223 miles per hour. Just to put that into perspective, a 747’s take-off speed is only 180 mph. This tremendous velocity allows King Fahd’s Fountain to pump a staggering amount of water into the air. At any given moment, there is an estimated 18 tons of water hanging in the air. The fountain can actually shoot water into the sky at a height greater than the Eiffel Tower (not including the antenna).
The fountain pulls seawater from the nearby Red Sea. It’s no surprise that the fountain uses natural sources of water because, honestly, where else would you get that much water? This salt water presented the engineers with a number of rather interesting challenges, such as how to minimize erosion and how filter out all of the sand and organic material so that it doesn’t gunk up the system.
Somehow, they managed to pull it off, creating a fountain so mind-blowingly massive that the only way to really appreciate it is to stop reading and take a look for yourself.