Like a Hamster Ball on the Water

While in Chongqing we went to a carnival by the river side. There was one event that got our attention immediately. It looked like people running around inside giant hamster balls on top of water. What fun!

Playing in Bubbles

A thought immediately came to my mind, though: how do they get fresh air in those things? It turns out they don’t. They fill the balls with a big blower, then zipper them shut and put a big piece of tape over the zipper to keep it water tight. You’re only allowed in for 5 minutes, after which the carnies reel you in (the ball is tethered to the shore). It cost 10 RMB.

Anyway, I had to have a go. Here’s my ball getting inflated.


Once my ball was full, I surged into the water with a vicious plop.


I was very graceful.


For some reason, a child was laughing at me.


I set out to destroy her.


I did not succeed.


I decided to let her live and crawled off elsewhere.


I liked the challenge of trying to stand up, and I was able to do it several times.


But not for long.


I eventually decided to chill out for a while because all my physical exertion must have been using up my limited oxygen pretty fast*. I emerged very satisfied.


Overall, a very fun experience.

*How long should the oxygen in one of those balls last? I’m 194 cm tall, so I guess the diameter of the sphere is just over 2 meters or so. Anyone know? I’m wondering how close to 5 minutes it is.

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