“Turkmenistan is home to the LARGEST ENCLOSED Ferris wheel in the world, a 156′ tall ride built inside a GLASS and MARBLE structure.”5,000 Awesome Facts National Geographic 2015
As of date, 2023, the Alem, translated to the Universe, still holds the Guinness World Record for the largest enclosed Ferris Wheel. I can see why. From what I’ve read and seen this wheel is spectacular. Every Ferris wheel I’ve read about from this Nat. Geo kids book has its each unique flair about them. I never thought Ferris wheels could be so interesting.
This wheel is hosted by, or on top of, or part of the Alem Cultural and Entertainment Center. The building itself is 6 stories high, 4 stories above and 2 down below. It contains a bowling alley, 2 movie theaters, a planetarium, and a restaurant inside the center. It is designed after the eight sided star of Oguz Khan, a motif throughout the land, and looks like a giant sundial or the innerworkings of a watch to me.
The Ferris wheel itself has 26 cars, holding 6 per car, and is encapsulated in a 156′ tall glass and white metal structure. The special ingredient to keep the glass surrounding the wheel is the covering of a Lumiflon resin that deters the harm of UV rays, sand and other weather elements. The total weight of the building is 12,000 tons, and the 187′ diameter wheel is 150 tons alone. I had to look up how many pounds one ton is, and 1 ton – 2,000 lbs. That just helps me put it into perspective.
This whole little project cost about $90 million dollars, and definitely shows it. The more pictures I look of it the more I am amazed that something so beautiful and massive was built, and actually has a turning Ferris wheel inside!
There is also a 56′ decorative spike on top of the fixed wheel.