The world’s first sacred ripple tank?

This is the astonishing piece of engineering that is the new font at Salisbury cathedral in Wiltshire.  The water is so still that it is glass-like, giving tourists and photographers a chance to get fantastic reflections of the upper parts of the cathedral interior.  Yet it does this while continuously being drained from all four corners and being refilled from below.

Overhearing a conversation next to me about what the top part of the font was made from, I volunteered that the green hue suggested brass or copper, rapping my knuckles on the underside to demonstrate that it was metallic.  Whilst proving my point, it also caused the whole font to vibrate as one, disturbing the water by sending waves through it from all directions.  I was so excited that I had to grab some shots of these fantastic interference patterns … look at the water in these regular peaks and troughs!

If you’re not a physicist, this might not amuse as much as it did me, so I’ve included some more artistic photos using the patterns in the water to get impressionist/water-colour style photos of the insides of the cathedral.

For all the other snaps from my visit to this fantastic cathedral, head to my Flickr page.

(Incidentally, for another piece of engineering awesomeness, check out this shot.  The weight of the roof is so high that it has bent the marble pillars!)

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