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Treetop travel

Like us, you may not have spent a lot of time figuring out how to travel through the tops of trees. But for environmental scientists, being able to sit comfortably in treetops can be essential to their studies. And some European scientists have come up with all kinds of incredible ways of doing it. Check out the SolVin Bretzel in this picture – it's a giant, pretzel-shaped raft that is lowered onto the tops of trees.

Created by architect and inventor Gilles Ebersolt, it's a huge net pulled taut and supported by massive inflatable pontoons of PVC canvas. It's so tough, you can pitch a tent on it, or go for a walk.

Ebersolt is also the genius behind the incredible Icos (Independent Canopy Observatory System) – a 20-sided, aluminum-framed pod that can be lowered into the treetops by a dirigible and tethered between major branches. You can set up camp and even cook in it (that's Ebersolt himself cooking in an Icos in the picture above).

Other inflatables sponsored by SolVin include the Canopy Bubble, a giant helium balloon that hangs above the treetops, allowing scientists to swing into a location of their choosing. The Bubble, invented by Dany Cleyet-Marrel, carries one passenger in a cradle that can turn through 360° (see picture, second from top, right). Just wait 'til they commercial these – it'll add a whole new dimension to travel.

Pyot Laurent/Ocean Vert; Setsumasa Hirochika/Ocean Vert; Pyot Laurent/Ocean Vert; Setsumasa Hirochika/Ocean Vert; Solvay-Solvin – Lauren Pyot-Roger Leguen

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  • Soendoro Soetanto

    July 24, 2010

    Interesting way to travel 🙂

    Soendoro Soetanto

  • Mike

    March 17, 2007

    Looks like paradise. Let’s all float in this kind of pure simple goodness.

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