Storm simulation pool

This is an absolutely non-typical site with a strange and sad history.

The storm simulation pool was built in 1953. It was designed by Vasily Shuleikin, the founder of a marine physics, a new branch of science at the time.

The structure is, in fact, unique. The pool was built in a shape of a closed ring, and thus the wave path doesn’t have neither a beginning nor an end, and the wind affects the waves constantly along their entire path, causing only their growth, just like it does in the sea.

Where does the wind come from? At the edge of this huge concrete cup, 40 m (131 ft) in diameter, huge fans were mounted that pumped air into the channel inside the double sides of the cylinder.

The outer diameter of the ring is 40 m (131 ft), the width of the channel is 2 m (6,5 ft), the height from the bottom to the roof is 5,6 m (18 ft).

The bottom, the sides and the roof are made from steel sheets 10 mm (0,4 inches) thick, welded together.

Part of the section with a 60 degree angle is vitrified, and it is convenient to conduct examination and filming of the waves there. The lower 2,5-3 meters (8-10 ft) of the channel were filled ith seawater.

The fans allowed to reach winds speeds up to 19 m/s (42.5 mph). As a result, quite large wind-produced waves could be formed in the pool: they were up to 1.5 m (5 ft) height and 15 m (49 ft) long, with a period up tp 4 seconds.

People say that even during the years that the pool was operational, it wasn’t very useful, even though a lot of research was done using it.

Some scientists say that centrifugal forces that always appear when there is circular motion and significantly impact the way the waves are formed were not taken into account, and the idea was wrong from the beginning.

Thus, the pool became an expensive memorial to Soviet engineering. Whether it is true or not, only the scientists know.

Today there is no demand for a storm simulation pool because modern computer-based simulation systems fully replace structures like this one.

Among the rusty elements of the deteriorating cylinder there is a small neoclassical-style tower that was built under the supervision of Alexey Shchusev, a well-known architect.

Living quarters and research spaces for the lab staff were located inside, and there were still people in the tower as of 2013.

Now the rooms are unoccupied and full of rubbish, but it is possible to go up the stairs.

And then enjoy the view of the surroundings of the pool.

Also, the structure has a huge ring-shaped basement, and it’s difficult to refrain from taking a look at it.

Lots of equipment remnants that are half a century old are here

These beautiful lamps used to light this creepy basement

The tunnel looks quite ancient.

At the exit of the basement you can take a look inside one of the small rooms with some weird and cool stuff.

Images by Lana-Sator

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