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Monday, August 16, 2010

Fantastic Fountain Shows from Around the World

For millennia, artists have attempted to capture water and light, but today’s fountain designers work with the actual mediums, creating fluid sculptures that draw hundreds of thousands of people daily.

Fountains of Bellagio

Location: Las Vegas, USA

Bellagio Fountains

Dimensions: 50,000 square feet
Gallons released per minute: up to 17,000
Cost: 50 million USD

Fountains of Bellagio

Fountains of Bellagio in Action—

One of Las Vegas’ most captivating (and certainly more elegant) spectacles, the Fountains of Bellagio dance every fifteen minutes to the tune of everything from Frank Sinatra to Andrea Bocelli. The Bellagio Casino glitters above the 20 million gallon man-made lake, which houses the 1,000 individual fountains that create the show.

Interlocking arcs of sparkling water are perfectly synchronized to the state-of-the-art sound system, prompting Steven Spielberg, of all people, to call it “the greatest single piece of public entertainment on planet Earth.”

Dubai Fountain

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai Fountains

Dimensions: 1870 square feetGallons released per minute: 22,000
Cost: 220 million USD

Fountains at Dubai

Dubai Fountain in Action—

An anemone of light and water blooms from the artificial lake’s dark surface. Impressive, you think. However, is it Dubai impressive? Then another anemone appears, and another, and another, and another. The water arcs high and explodes in massive stars of light like the finale of a major fireworks display.

Located just blocks from the world’s tallest building, Dubai Fountain plumes to nearly 500 feet (equivalent to a 50-story building), often to the ethereal tune of that perennial fountain favorite, “Time to Say Goodbye” as performed by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. The display uses 6,000 lights and can be seen from over 20 miles away. Performances take place every 20 minutes.

King Fahd’s Fountain

Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

King Fahd Fountains

Dimensions: Height up to 1023 feet
Gallons released per minute: 9,000Cost: N/A

Fountains of King Fahd's

Fahd’s Fountain in Action—

A single plume of salt water from the Red Sea spouts to 1023 feet at a speed of 233 miles per hour, frothing and cascading against the deep blue Saudi Arabian sky. More of a spectacle than a show (this plume doesn’t assume a swan shape), King Fahd’s Fountain is worth seeing for the sheer majesty of a tower of water which reaches heights of the Eiffel Tower.

Moonlight Rainbow Fountain

Location: Seoul, Korea

Moonlight Rainbow Fountain

Dimensions: 3740 square feetGallons of water released per minute: 190
Cost: 16.1 million USD

Fountains of Moonlight Rainbow

Moonlight Rainbow Fountain in Action—

The Guinness Book of Records lists the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain as the world’s longest bridge fountain. Programmed to display about 100 different formations, the fountain undulates and pulses in a shifting rainbow as cars zoom across the bridge, the glow of headlights adding an element of spontaneity and immediacy to the delicate play of water and light.

Musical Fountain

Location: Jerudong Park, Brunei

Musical Fountains

Dimensions: (Jerudong Park) 57-hectare
Gallons of water released per minute: N/A
Cost: (Jerudong Park Building Cost) 1 Billion USD

Musical Fountains

Musical Fountain in Action—

The tiny country of Brunei (on the island of Borneo) hosts one of Asia’s most impressive fountain shows, notable for its glowing jewel tones and delicate floral motifs. Located in Brunei’s Jerudong Amusement Park, the fountain also serves as a backdrop for laser shows and holographic cartoons.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda Music Fountain

Location: Xi’an City, China

Big Wild Goose Pagoda Fountain

imensions: 65,000 square foot
Gallons of water released per minute: N/A
Cost: 14.7 billion USD

Big Wild Goose Pagoda Fountain

Music Fountain in Action—

Worth mentioning for its name alone, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda Music Fountain is notable for its majestic backdrop, the ancient and eponymous pagoda, built over 1200 years ago. The fountain show is free and can attract crowds of up to 100,000 people in the summertime. The beautiful display spouts folding landscapes of water and fire while the atmospheric mist rises below the ancient pagoda.

Old Faithful

Location: Yellowstone National Park, USA

Yellowstone Old Faithful Fountain

Dimensions: Height 110-185 feet
Gallons of water released per minute: approx. 2500
Cost: NA

Old Faithful Fountain

Old Faithful in Action—

There’s nothing like a classic. Located in Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful geyser has been delighting visitors for hundreds of years. Water jets from 100-180 feet, roiling in fluffy clouds. Shows may last between 1.5 and 4.5 minutes but show times remain unpredictable.