Vincent Callebaut, visionary behind the Lilypad and Dragonfly, has created a whale-shaped floating garden designed to drift through the world’s rivers while purifying their waters. The Physalia is a self-sufficient ecosystem that generates all the power it needs from the sun and works to reduce water pollution through bio-filtration.

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Callebaut’s designs are certainly fantastical, but it’s a treat to ponder them and hope that someday this type of utopian technology will actually exist. His newest vision is a floating environment filled with gardens and covered by both a green roof and thin-film solar panels. Hydro-turbines generate power from the moving water underneath the boat, thus, all of the boat’s energy is generated from renewable sources.

The craft’s exterior features a layer of TiO2, which reacts with ultraviolet rays to clean the water. Additional water is pumped through the garden systems, which biologically filter out contaminants and pollutants. Inside there are four distinct thematic gardens named, “Earth”, “Wind”, “Fire”, and “Water”, which represent the four elements.

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Physalia was inspired by the “Physalia physalis” jellyfish, whose name translates roughly to “Water Bubble”. This water bubble is meant to navigate the major rivers of Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, traveling along the Danube and Volga, between the Rhine and Guadalquivir, and through the Euphrate and the Tiger. Completely self-sufficient and incredible looking, the Physalias would turn heads wherever it floated.

+ Vincent Callebaut

Via Freshome