When you’re a kid at an amusement park, the last thing you want to go on is the Ferris wheel. The slow ride through the air offers no thrills and is quite boring compared to damn near any other rickety, metal-fatigued ride. But Ferris wheels have been providing something to do when the line for the roller coaster is too long since their debut at Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. And you’d better believe there are some Ferris wheel tattoos out there.
The above date of 1893 refers to the first modern Ferris wheel. “Pleasure wheels,” miniature versions of what we picture when we think Ferris wheel, date as far back as the 1600s. History can’t point to the very first of these, but by the mid 17th century, they were found throughout the world. The first American pleasure wheel opened in 1848 in Georgia, of all places.
Recently, after a trip to the Osaka Aquarium, I was bitten by the urge to ride the giant Ferris wheel adjacent to the facility. I’d never been much for Ferris wheels, but the massive size of the Tempozan Ferris Wheel drew me in. The trip took me 369 feet into the air and provided amazing panoramic views of the Japanese city, all while scaring the shit out of me. To be sure, this was not the type of Ferris wheel that you see at the county fair.
Last week, I was in London and knew I had to ride the iconic London Eye. It provided some stellar views of the city and was much less scary than the ride in Osaka thanks to its super modern and sleek design. I wondered which of the two was bigger. A quick trip to Wikipedia revealed that the Eye took that honor. It is the world’s fourth largest Ferris wheel. The one in Osaka is the sixth.
This discovery led to a half-hearted desire to ride all of the world’s largest Ferris wheels, but many of them are in far-flung locations that I’d probably never end up in. I’m certainly not going back to China just to ride a fucking Ferris wheel. So, I thought I’d do the next best thing and share some awesome Ferris wheel tattoos.
Don’t these Ferris wheel tattoos make you want to, oh I don’t know, ride a Ferris wheel? Well, if you’re going to, I suggest going big and hitting up one of the largest in the world. And where exactly is the world’s largest? It’s in Las Vegas, right behind the hotel I stayed at two months before I went to Osaka and decided I like Ferris wheels. Fuck.