Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Amazon Spheres

As I previously mentioned, we had reservations to go in the Amazon Spheres today.  Due to the iffy weather, two freeway closures, and my current gastric distress we were debating on whether we really wanted to go, but go we did.  It’s totally worth doing if you’re in the area.  It’s an amazing structure, here it is shining in the sun last time we saw it.


This is a model of the spheres. 


Those metal segments were welded together.  Here is a youtube of building the structure.  Pay attention to how often the building is in shadow because of the surrounding high rises.  Stick it out to the end (four minutes) and you can see how the giant tree was installed in the building.  To keep the plants alive there are very bright grow lights everywhere.  The lights make photography difficult because there’s always one washing out your picture.


Two eco-systems are in the spheres.  The first floor is South American rain forest.  The second floor is Asian rain forest.  These were chosen because the year round temperatures don’t vary much.  Plants who live in a four season environment expect cold and hot temperatures.  People would not enjoy working in those conditions.  These plants are adapted for a constant 75 degrees with very high humidity.  We asked why the windows don’t fog up when it’s cold, it’s because of the amount of air movement.  The floors don’t reach the walls, so there is good air flow next to the glass.

Note the grow light on the left as well as the mister.


Giant fern.


No idea.


Tulip orchids from Ecuador.


Pitcher plants.  These are so cool.  They’re carnivorous.  The soil where they grow is so poor they supplement their diets by trapping bugs.  They don’t have to feed them bugs in the spheres because their conditions are good.  The botanists did say that when he finds slugs he feeds them to the pitcher plants.


This is a pitcher plant tree.  You can’t see it but there is a horizontal branch with these things dangling from it.


An observation point.


That’s Rubi the tree.  She’s from Somis, CA and was shipped here on a flat bed truck.


We really enjoyed it.  If you are going to Seattle, sign up for the tour.  It’s free and self guided.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is fascinating. I would love to see it someday!