The Falkirk Wheel: Boat Lift
Built as the centerpiece of a canal restoration project in Central Scotland, the Falkirk Wheel uses the power of water to lift canal barges 100ft from the Forth and Clyde to the Union Canal.
As the 1800 tonne boat lift rotates it only takes the power of 2 electric kettles (more water?) to lift the barges - it achieves this by being in perfect balance - one caisson (or gondolla) of water rises as the other falls. Even with boats in the lift it is still in balance because as Archimedes discovered when bathing in water, an object (in this case the barges) displaces its own weight.
The canals date back to the 18th century, built as part of the Industrial Revolution, however their renaissance makes the waterways a haven for wildlife, tourism, and recreation.
You can find out more about this unique piece of architecture / artwork / engineering at
The Millennium Link Resource