The A-Z of water: A

There’s no way around it, water can be a complex area to know. There’s lots of keywords and terms bandied about by experts, that even we find confusing on occasion! To this end, we will be bringing you the A-Z of water terms, bringing you the secret, technical, and quirky language connected to H20.

In the words of the great Julie Andrews, ‘Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start’, today, we’ll be covering the A words!

Accretion  (Hydrology) The process of accumulation by flowing water

Adfluvial: (Natural science) Migrating between lakes and rivers or streams

Aedile: (History) Elected official of Ancient Rome who supervised the water supply

Aerate: (Chemical) To supply or charge a liquid or body of water with gas

Alluvial: (Hydrology) Process/materials association with transportation or deposition by running water

Alluvion: (Hydrology) The flow of water against a shore or bank

Altum Mare: (History) A term used in old English law referring to the high or deep sea

Anabranch: (Geology) A diverging branch of a river, which then re-enters the main stream

Aneroid: (Chemical) Not using liquid

Anhydrous: (Chemical) Without water

Aquaduct: (Construction) Pipe/channel that transports water from a remote source

Aquanaut: (Hydrology) A person trained to live in underwater installations

Aquifier: (Geology) Soil or rock that stores/ transmits water

Aquifuse: (Geology) Formation that can’t store/transmit water

Arroyo: (Geology) A water carved channel or gully in a dry country

Asperse: (Language) To sprinkle

Attenuation: (Hydrology) The diversion or slowing of the flow of water

There you have it, our A’s of water. Which is your favourite water A word? We’re loving ‘alluvion’!

Seabins – Clearing the waste of the ocean

Oceanic waste is a huge problem, and it’s growing by the year. Despite all the warnings, the rate of global plastic production continues to rise, and you only need to visit a popular beach to see the extent of the problem. Fish and seabirds alike are frequently found dead, with plastic in their digestive systems, and the ocean is blighted by floating islands of the stuff, centuries away from even beginning to decompose.

The primary approach to solving the problem is obvious, but daunting – significantly downsize plastic production and upscale recycling. The latter is already happening, but nowhere near enough to counteract the gargantuan scale of plastic production, and more to the point, the scope for reusing many types of consumer plastic is actually pretty narrow. 
Even if, by some miracle, we were able to stem the tide of plastic production and discarding to the point where it balances things out again, there would still be millions upon millions of metric tons of plastic still out on the ocean, and no, I’m not exaggerating. Beach clearing and trawling will only get you so far when there’s just so much of it, so one idea is to create a kind of device which can be placed in the water and just left to get on with the task at hand.
Enter the ‘Seabin’, an ingenious little solution invented by two Aussie surfers – Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski – and it’s currently in the final research phase. At a glance, it just looks like a bin with a yellow rim and a sleek chrome finish, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye. They are fitted to pontoons, lowered until the rim is just slightly beneath the surface and then a suction engine whirs to life, drawing waste inside until the bag is full. 
The trash can then be sorted and recycled. Because the bin sits so close to the surface, fish aren’t in any danger of being mistakenly sucked in, as extensive tests have proven. The pump is solar powered, and has been tested in several countries already, with many marine authorities across the world saying that they also want to try it out. The team are looking at making them available in 17 countries from 2017 onwards.
If these wonderful little bins could be distributed in a more widespread manner, they could provide an effective solution to the issue, at least inland where they can easily be accessed and emptied on a regular basis. The open ocean is another issue entirely, but there’s no reason why the technology couldn’t be refitted to work on a larger scale, with fleets of bins cast out, and then collected at the end of the day by large ships.
Of course, active solutions can’t work all by themselves, and the introduction of technology like this has to be mirrored by the reductions in consumption I was talking about before. The Seabins can act as a barrier between the trash and getting out onto the open ocean, but even if they were on literally every beach, marina and pontoon in the world, trash would still find its way out to sea. We need companies to reduce their plastic footprint, or all the research and development in the world simply won’t be enough. The Olympics are evidence enough of that.


Microbial fuel cells – The future of clean water?

Perhaps the biggest issue with water treatment plants is the amount of energy they use. On average, it takes 1.5 kilowatt-hours to remove even a kilogram of contaminant from polluted water. If you look at that in terms of water treatment on a national or international scale, it accounts for a huge chunk of energy demand. 
The solution is to make water treatment a self-sustaining process, and for the first time it looks like we might have found a way to do that. The name of the game is biotechnology; we already use engineered biological processes for food production, medicine and more recently fuel. We already know that biological processes can be manipulated to produce energy, so what if they could form a self-powering treatment system.
That’s exactly what Boston-based company Cambrian Innovation have done. In partnership with the US Army, they have developed ‘BioVolt’, a wastewater treatment system which generates the energy needed to power itself, with no electrical input necessary. The microbes themselves are electrically active, and they catalyse a fuel cell process which treats wastewater and generates electricity all at once. What’s more, a large facility isn’t needed to house such a system; it can be scaled down the point where you can carry it around in a portable container.
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So already this sounds pretty amazing, but there’s more. The BioVolt system is now being regarded as a blueprint for even more advanced developments in the near future. The active microbe strains in the BioVolt system are ‘Geobacter’ and ‘Shewanella’, both of them essentially consume pure energy, coaxed from rocks and metals. It stands to reason, all bacteria deal with the electrons present in sugars and other minerals, these ones just cut out the middle man, and in this way they can be grown directly on electrodes. 
The applications of this are widespread and exciting, already a larger pilot system for water treatment is being built in Tijuana, and this one will also be able to remove pharmaceutical waste from the water.
In either case, systems like these have the potential to clear tens of thousands of litres of contaminated water every day, and act as a kind of equivalent/counterpart to solar and wind energy. Moreover, any kind of biological system which requires energy to function could be considered for the BioVolt treatment, as microbes which consume pure energy could, in theory, carry on forever. 

Callum Davies
Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. 


Hydrogels: The dissolvable bandage

A new development in the chemistry world will hopefully take our drugstore shelves by storm. A hydrogel-based dressing that can easily be washed away will remedy all our childhood fears (the dreaded Band-Aid). Hydrogels are already used in several products on shelves today, like contact lenses and condoms; but they have much more viable applications like playing a part in the generation of soft tissues or alleviating our dependence on air conditioning.

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Basically, science has discovered a fancy new toy and is figuring out all its quirks. According to Gizmodo, hydrogels are “substances made from polymers that swell in water to form gel-like material.” The substance created cannot be torn as it is much more durable than it seems (it does look a bit like solidified water).
Recently, at Boston University, a team has been busy formulating and testing a special kind of dressing for second-degree burn wounds. This specific bandage is meant to be dissolved rather than peeled off. For burn victims, redressing a wound is a traumatic experience that is often fraught with pain and potential damage to fresh tissue.  A study led by Dr. Mark Grinstaff tested the bandage on rats with second-degree burns. The results were positive, with the bandage sufficiently protecting the wound from bacteria. Polymer and hydrogel-based bandages are currently a part of the medical sphere; however, this has not translated into a solution for large, open wounds. Hydrogel-based bandages may be more comfortable and natural, but have not been dissolvable until now.
The special dressing is made up of a lysine-based dendron and a polyethylene glycol cross-linker, according to Chemistry World, which manifests itself in a clear, flexible bandage. With a special “aqueous solution of cysteine methyl ester,” the bandage can be dissolved using a reaction between the amino acids in the cysteine and the hydrogel. 

Are edible bubbles the solution to the water bottle crisis?

Water bottle manufacture is a very dangerous industry. The amount of water and oil waste created by the process is a problem; their limited recyclability is a problem and the millions which are carelessly tossed away? Huge problem. There are some ways around it, such as reusable water containers, but people don’t buy water for the bottle, they buy the bottle for the water, and pre-filled aluminium containers probably wouldn’t sell too well.

This could well be the solution – a process called spherification, which enables you to turn water into soft, edible globules. It needn’t just apply to water either, there are a whole range of fluids you can do it with, and it’s simple enough to be done at home. The video below outlines the exact process, but in summary, you mix water with sodium alginate, which is derived from brown seaweed, and then you place spoonfuls of it into a calcium lactate bath, causing the two chemicals to form a membrane around the water.
The membrane is perfectly natural, perfectly healthy to eat, and stores the water without the need for any plastic. That’s all very well, I hear you say, but surely the sales of bottled water have more to do with people preferring to buy water than fill up from the tap? Well, yes, that’s the case, but this method can, and has, been applied to retail distribution.
A British company called Skipping Rocks lab have developed a way to create the edible bubbles en masse, by creating the membrane around small spheres of ice. Each unit only costs about 1.5p to produce, and the EU awarded them a sustainability grant in 2014 to further pursue the venture. The product, called ‘Ooho’, is still being toured around conferences to build up funding and support, so don’t expect to see it being sold any time soon, but that is Skipping Rocks’ eventual aim.
In the meantime, you can see above just how easy the process is to do at home, so why not try it out?

Water Resistant Smartphones – How Effective Are They?

With smartphones becoming ever more complicated and expensive, it stands to reason that consumers and manufacturers alike are desperately seeking ways to improve upon their longevity, and harden them against damage. The latest step in making our phones as hardy as possible is water resistance, which has been boasted about during the release of many new high-end devices.
While it is reassuring to know that a little rain won’t kill your new phone, there is still a lot of confusion as to what the term ‘water resistant’ actually means. Just to add to said confusion, there is no singular classification of ‘water resistant’. In fact, there’s a 9-tier scale designed to rate devices in regard to this trait, and that’s if you ignore any claims of ‘waterproof’.
Therein lies the crux of the problem; too many people see the term ‘water resistant’ and assume that it means the same as ‘waterproof’. Don’t make that mistake; it will cost a lot and you will look stupid, to be blunt.
The very fact that manufacturers refer to these devices as ‘water resistant’ tells you that even they know they have some measure of vulnerability to water and/or other liquids. Sure, part of this is to avoid lawsuits, as any claim of being waterproof could lead to embarrassment at best if those claims were proven fraudulent. The primary reason, however, is that these devices are not even close to being fully waterproof; any claim otherwise would be foolhardy and just plain wrong.
All water resistant electronic devices are assigned a rating according to the IP (Ingress Protection) scale. This rating tells you exactly what your new device can reasonably be expected to stand up to. We have included a screenshot below from Android Authority, which neatly outlines the IP rating system and what each rating means.
As you can see, no official measure of water resistance allows for worry-free use of your device at any real kind of depth, none account for temperature and even the highest rating cannot specify what a ‘long period’ actually is. The other important point to consider is that this scale and the associated tests only account for fresh, clean water. Highly chlorinated or salinated water can corrode the rubber seals which provide the initial protection, making it somewhat useless. 
The best advice I could give on the subject would be to, by and large, treat your latest, apparently water resistant device just as you have any other before it. While it may claim a certain level of water resistance, you never quite know where that ends. Of course, there’s still no reason to panic if it starts raining on your walk home; that’s not really going to hurt it.

Sam Bonson
Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.


How to Build Your Own Rainwater Collection System

In the most mountainous regions of the UK, there can be more than 4 metres of rainfall every year, and the rest of the country isn’t far behind. We talk about rain as if it’s this horrid, irritating blight that keeps us all inside playing Scrabble with our disgusting families, but in reality it’s a vital, replenishing force that keeps our planets green, our soil moist and our ecosystem stable.

Beyond simply letting nature water your plants, or reenacting your favourite scenes from any romcom released in the last 20 years, there’s another practical use for rain – collect and storing it. You can buy water butts in most DIY shops, but why bother with that when you can build you own? It’s a surprisingly simple process, and the rewards are well worth the effort.

Firstly, you need to get a storage unit. This can be a plastic barrel, bin or another other large storage container, as long as it has a lid. You want to be looking at a minimum of 100 litres of storage, anything smaller is pointless, you’ll be emptying it too often. If you decide to source one second hand, you need to make sure it had something non-toxic in it before, and then clean it with hot, soapy water. Get as many as you think you’ll need.

The next step is to create an actual collection system. There are a few different ways to do this, the main ones are to either redirect one your existing gutter spouts, or mount a length of hosepipe and a funnel. In the former case, you’ll need to buy an angled spout fitting to your home gutter system, replace one of the other spouts, place a grate at the top (so leaves and other debris don’t end up in the collector) and attach it to the barrel, sealing it all off with caulk. Alternatively, you can use bungee chords to hoist up a length of hose with a funnel (and filter) on the end and it does the same job without you having to lose a spout.

The last two things are the spigot and the overflow. Buy a spigot and make a note of the value size, then drill a hole of the same circumference in the side of the container, near the bottom, but high enough to fit a watering can or bucket beneath (the container should stand on some bricks or breeze blocks as well). Line the hole with caulk and then fit the spigot. Drill another hole of the same size near the top, parallel to the spigot, and fit it with a hose adapter, this way if you want a second container to catch the overflow, you can easily fit it.

Callum Davies
Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. 

Strange and Wonderful Water Features – Global Edition

Nothing screams luxury and peace as effectively as a water fountain. Something about seeing water proudly arcing into the air to a crescendo of burbling and tiny splashes instils a sense of awe.  It’s instant the effect a fountain can have on us. Upon seeing the Fountain of Neptune in Florence, I immediately ran over to ooh and aah at the brackish, weathered outer ring of Scyllaand Charybdis figures before taking in the commanding, utterly naked god reigning over the land his fountain occupied; Neptune in all his glory.

[FUN FACT: The Fountain of Neptune is currently topped by a replica of Bartolomeo Ammannati’s original statue which now resides in National Museum. Ammannati crafted the face on that of Medici Cosimo, Grand Duke of Tuscany at the time the statue was built in the sixteenth century.]
Img source: Flickr, ButterflySha
Perhaps our reaction to fountains stems from childhood when wishing on a well, fountain, or any body of water (let’s be honest, as a kid it didn’t matter what you threw the money in) brought the utmost delight. It felt naughty, literally throwing away good money just to see it sit beneath the surface, face up and staring. That glint, almost a taunt, when the sunlight reflected off the coins just right, strikes a chord whenever I see it. Why do we donate spare change to a faceless benefactor?
It boils down to clean water or, to use the correct term, distils. Access to water isn’t something first world countries have to worry about today, at least not in most places. Even if your pipes leech metal particles into your tap water, you can buy a filter or go to the store for some bottled water. Not the case centuries ago when drinking water was a blessing, so much so that people would offer money to the gods. While at it, people would include any prayers or wishes along with this offering like a two for one: a donation to keep the water flowing and a wish for something tangible. Now that clean water is provided to all for the most part, we’ve held on to the fun part of this tradition.
[FUN FACT: In Norse mythology, Mimir’s Well or the Well of Urd, granted cosmic knowledge on the caveat that something of value be sacrificed. Tended by Mimir, counsellor of the gods, the well resided on top of/over one of the roots of the world-tree Yggradsil.]
Historically, fountains have imitated life in sculpture and design, favouring a profile that most closely matches our ideal: gods. In the oldest societies (European, think Italy), fountains were modelled after gods, goddesses, mythological creatures and people. Until the 1900’s, this formula remained steadfast even as fountains became a global fascination, stretching rainbows and jets across the pond to America. The traditional main statue, usually a memorable figure in history or mythology, surrounded by minions and finished with dribbling water, how original.
And now, with that bit of knowledge shared, let’s look into some fountains that I promise will cause you to purse your lips, scrunch your eyebrows, and generally confuse you. Ready to dive in?
Fountain of Neptune – Bologna, Italy
Located in the Piazza Nettuno and one of seven Italian fountains featuring Neptune, this fountain was finished in 1567 by Giambologna. A perfect example of the traditional fountain, this work delivers equal parts amazement and excitement, primarily from the nereidsringing the bottom tier.
Two Peeing Guys – Prague, Czech Republic
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Courtesy of David Cerny, a controversial and riveting Czech sculptor, this water fixture features two men peeing on a zigzagging shape resembling the Czech Republic with lifelike movements to accompany the act. Microprocessors swivel the hips and move the penis up and down enabling the men to write quotes from Prague residents, a ceaseless mission. If you’re in the area, the men’s solemn task can be interrupted by sending an SMS message to a number on the statue. The men will then inscribe the message, through their appendages of course, before continuing with their previous task.

Nation for Itself Forever 
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Another David Cerny fixture makes the list, though this one cannot be viewed in person. Set to be mounted on the Prague National Theatre in 2003, the installation was cancelled for fear of backlash from theatre patrons. The building’s architectural significance took precedence over the message Cerny meant to convey with “Nation for Itself Forever,” which would have periodically released a spray of water on unsuspecting passer-by’s. The lesson here is that not all fountains flow the same.

The Big Giving – London, England
With statues dedicated to different bodily excretions, Klaus Weber has created something drastically different and unbelievably gross when you really think about it. Not only do these fountains leak water from noses, mouths, armpits and private areas, they continuously propel it. Walking by is like watching a germaphobe’s worst nightmare: black bulbous bodies as non-human as possible mounted with white, realistic human heads and arms spewing all sorts of bodily liquids. Eek.  Named after the Native American potlatchceremony of giving, this installation takes the cake, continuously giving all it can. For those with a strong stomach it can be found at the Southbank Centre.
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[FUN FACT: Germaphobia is another word for mysophobia, a pathological fear of contamination and germs. Also known as verminophobia, bacillophobia, or bacteriaphobia.]
Mannekin Pis, Jeanneke Pis, and Zinneke Pis – Brussels, Belgium
An old hand in the fountain game, we are no strangers to cherubic figures peeing into oblivion. Strange that we’ve grown so accustomed to this particular immortalisation of bodily excretion that it doesn’t faze; in fact, this triumvirate of statues are quite popular. Each is named in the Marols dialect, spoken in Brussels: Little Man Pee, Jeanneke Pee, and Dog Pee.

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The most famous, Mannekin Pis, is found nearby the Grand Palace and is known to don different outfits donated by visitors. Crafted by Jerome Duquesnoy, the statue was set in 1618-19 and has a history rich with legend and tradition.

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Jeanneke Pis (no translation) was meant to be a counterpart to her brother Mannekin Pis. She is situated off the Metro stop Anneessens, Central, Bourse, near Delirium Café tucked away on a dead end street. Cloistered behind bars at times, Jeanneke Pis was originally dreamed up by Denis Adrien Debouvrie in the name of gender equality. In 1987, Jeanneke Pis was mounted in the Impasse de la Fidelite 10 and 12.

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Zinneke Pis, unlike his human counterparts, is not a fountain, but considering his close connection to Mannekin Pis an Jeanneke Pis, I had to include him in the list. Dwelling on the corner of Rue des Chartruex and Rue de Vieux-Marche, this funny statue was installed in 1998.

Crown Fountain – Chicago, IL
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Included in the joy that is Millennium Park, the Crown Fountain is interactive, allowing patrons to become one with the fountain. It’s not as out there as I’ve made it sound; two opposing towering LCD screen with a glass block covering displays people’s faces, alternating between that and total blackness.  Actually, the towers sometimes display nature scenery, water scenes or a solid colour. When a face is up, it will then blink a few times, close its eyes, and finish off by spurting a stream of water. The water is projected into a shallow pool (water level varies from warm to cold months) with jets of water sometimes shooting into the air from several openings in the ground. The water is only on from spring to fall, depending on the weather, which is often terrible in Chicago. Designed by Jaume Plensa to be a tribute to the people of Chicago, the faces cycle through a stock of about 1,000 people regardless of whether water is running.

Hans Sachs Fountain – Nurnberg, Germany 
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This is the most disturbing, dynamic water fountain I’ve ever laid eyes on. Commissioned by the city of Nurnberg to cover a subterranean shaft, this work is known as Ehekarussell, translated to the “Marriage Carousel” or “Marriage-Merry-Go-Round.” Understandably, the fountain caused a bit of unrest on the part of city-dwellers, considering the raw nature of Jürgen Weber’s work. Based on the poem The Bittersweet Life of Hans Sachs, the fountain is divided into six scenes showing the rollercoaster that is married life. Put up in 1984, the controversy lies in the depiction. Each of the scenes has some sort of gruesome element, from nudity to animal-human figures.

Child Eater Fountain – Bern, Switzerland 
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To round out the list I’ve chosen a truly disturbing statue, the Kindlifresserbrunnen, which translates to Fountain of the Eater of Little Children. Yes, this fountain is adorned by a giant ogre with a baby’s head stuffed into his mouth. Never fear though, he has a bag of toddlers for snacks. Dating back to 1546, Hans Gieng is responsible for the structure. Apparently, there are several theories as to why in the world anybody would construct or keep such a thing up:

  1. The pointy hat worn by the Kindlifresser resembles the Judenhut that Jews had to wear, serving as an accusation and warning against the Jewish population of Bern.
  2. The ogre resembles Kronos of Greek mythology who consumed his children.
  3. The ogre is meant to be the older brother of Duke Bechtold, Bern’s founder. Consumed by jealousy, the brother went mad and went on a child-hunting spree. 

Jacqui Litvan
Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor’s degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).

The World’s Best Underwater Hotels

As a species, we have long been fascinated with the mesmerising beauty and mystery held beneath the waves of our oceans. From the Great Barrier Reef of Australia to the depths of the Mariana Trench, these magical locations capture our imaginations and grip our very soul. Unfortunately, humans aren’t too great at surviving underwater, in the grand scheme of things, so we have to come up with ever more intuitive ways to explore the wonders of our little blue planet.

Diving trips and glass-bottomed boats have maintained their popularity over the years, but now another industry is aiming to deliver the awe of the sea in an accessible way: Hotels. Whether partially submerged or fully enveloped by the waves, they all count as far as this list is concerned. Some of these incredible hotels are open for business, while others are still under construction, but which among them are truly deserving of our attention? Here we rank the best of the best.
5. Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island
Img source: Conrad Hotels
This one may seem like a bit of a cheat, as the Conrad Maldives Hotel doesn’t actually offer any underwater rooms for its guests to stay in. Why, then, does it secure the no.5 spot on this list?
The Conrad’s claim to fame stems from the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, which is part of the hotel itself. This elegant dining area is hailed as the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant, and was named as “the most beautiful restaurant in the world” by New York’s Daily News.
The restaurant sits 16 feet below the surface and offers incredible views of the surrounding coral gardens and a diverse range of fish, sharks and turtles. It all culminates into a truly enchanting experience. Tables are extremely limited, with only seven in the entire restaurant, so be sure to book in advance.
4. Lovers Deep, Location of Your Choice
Img source: Oliver’s Travels
Forget traditional hotels, how would you like to spend a few nights aboard your own private luxury submarine? Well, for the princely sum of $150,000 per night you can have just that!
The luxuriously adapted leisure submarine is designed and furnished to the customer’s own specifications and comes staffed with a 3-man crew consisting of the Captain, Chef and even a personal Butler! The Lovers Deep is marketed as the ultimate way to join the ‘Mile Low Club’, so to ensure guests’ privacy throughout their trip the crew are provided with their own fully soundproofed quarters at the opposite end of the submarine.
While the vessel itself is stunning in just about every way imaginable, an added bonus comes in the way of being able to choose the mooring location yourself, whether that be among the beautiful waters of St. Lucia or observing a sunken battleship in the Red Sea, the choice is yours.
3. The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Zanzibar
Img source: Manta Resort
Situated along the picturesque coastline of Pemba Island, the Manta Resort offers Seafront Villas, tranquil Garden Rooms, excellent local cuisine and a Beach Lounge guaranteed to chill you out. None of that, however, earned the Resort its place on this list; that honour goes to their incredible Underwater Room.
Floating 250m from the shore, the Underwater Room feels more like a private island than a hotel room. 
Spread across three levels, the landing deck consists of a lounge area and bathroom, with a ladder climbing up to a rooftop lounging area, perfect for both sunbathing during the day and stargazing at night. Head downstairs to the bedroom and you are awarded with 360° views of the magic beneath the waves.
The surrounding seas are truly a wonder to behold. Swathes of Trumpetfish, Scorpion Fish and Sea Turtles seek protection from predators in the shadow of the room and nearby coral, while at night special lights fitted below the windows attract more elusive visitors, including Octopus and Spanish Dancers (a form of sea slug).
2. Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
Img source: Atlantis, The Palm
This extravagant hotel located on the famously reclaimed lands of the Palm Jumeirah on the Dubai coast seemingly radiates luxury. Based on the theme of the lost city of Atlantis, the hotel is equipped with its own water park, aquarium, 23 restaurants and bars, shopping centre and private beach, meaning there’s no shortage of things to do at this resort.
As for the hotel itself, the ‘Neptune’ and ‘Poseidon’ suites, located beneath the surface and fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, offer up amazing views of Dubai’s Ambassador Lagoon and are the reason for the resort’s placement on this list. Approximately 65,000 marine creatures inhabit the lagoon, including many that were brought in after sustaining injuries from fishing nets and the like, nursed back to health and protected. Stingrays, sharks and a huge variety of fish and other marine life swarm around the ‘ruins’ of Atlantis, scattered across the bed of the lagoon.
For the more adventurous among you, the resort offers its guests the opportunity to dive or snorkel with the sharks, angel fish and rays of the spectacular lagoon. You can even enter the shark tank at night, armed with nothing but a torch, to experience the sharks at their most active and amazing.
1. Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji
Img source: Poseidon Resorts
Although the Poseidon Undersea Resort is not yet open to the public, and is still being constructed a short distance off the Fiji coast, the sheer scope and ambition behind the project means it deserves the top spot on this list even before we’ve had chance to experience its wonders.
Described as “the world’s ultimate underwater resort”, the hotel will include 25 suites, each sitting 40 feet below the waves and surrounded by ceiling-high windows, offering the best possible views of the off-shore lagoon in which the resort will be situated. Specially made underwater lights ensure that the beautiful coral and marine life of the lagoon is properly showcased, regardless of the time of day.
Entertainment at the resort is anything but lacking, featuring an on-site dive shop, library, public lounge and theatre, as well as a golf course, tennis courts and fitness centre. For an experience you are unlikely to have tried before, take out one of the resort’s personal Triton Submarines, which are available for use by guests to explore the magnificent lagoon up close. If that all seems like a bit too much excitement for one day, wind down in the luxury marine spa.
One aspect of the resort deserving of special mention is the undersea chapel. The transparent walls create an amazing, ever-changing backdrop of marine life and coral, culminating in a truly original experience that your wedding guests are unlikely to forget any time soon.

Sam Bonson
Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.

Hydroelectric Power: How Does it Work?

Often praised as a highly viable, effective source of renewable energy, hydroelectric power plants provided 70% of the world’s total supply of renewable energy in 2015, and continue to gain more prominence as environmental issues remain firmly at the forefront of public debate.
These plants and their associated dams can vary in size dramatically, ranging anywhere from micro plants which power a small number of homes, to massive installations like the awe-inspiring Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam alone provides a yearly figure of 4.5 billion kilowatt hours of energy to nearly 8 million people in the US, but how exactly do these power plants create electricity from nothing but water? As it turns out, it’s fairly simple.
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First, the dam raises the water level before the plant, creating a drop into shallower waters beyond. As water flows through the dam and over the drop, it pushes large turbines which, via a connected generator, convert the natural kinetic energy into electricity. It essentially works like an underwater windmill, simply substituting the wind for water flow. From there, the electricity is distributed as it would be from any other type of power plant.
The amount of power a hydroelectric dam is capable of generating depends on two major variables: the height of the drop created and the flow rate of the river itself. Both of these will influence how much water passes through the turbines at any given time, being directly proportional to the power created.
You can actually calculate the power output of any given dam fairly easily if you have access to the relevant figures. The formula required to do so is as follows:
Power (in kilowatts) = (Height of Dam) x (River Flow) x (Generator Efficiency) / 11.8
To convert this to the more commonly stated figure of kilowatt-hours, run the solution through the next equation:
Kilowatt-hours = (kilowatt figure) x (24 hours per day) x (365 days per year)
If you then divide the result by 3,000, as 3000 kilowatt-hours is the average energy consumption of one person in the US, you can get a rough idea of how many people the dam can actually serve.
Sam Bonson
Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.