When Qatar was announced as the host of the 2022 World Cup, a prime concern for fans was the Middle Eastern nation's crippling summer heat. The average August high in Qatar is 105 degrees, not exactly ideal weather for playing (or spectating). But Saud Abdul Ghani, an engineer at Qatar University, may have found a solution fans will be happy with. Here, a brief guide to his breakthrough:
What is this thing?
Quite literally, it's an artificial cloud that would hover over a soccer stadium, protecting fans from the heat. (See a rendering of the cloud here.)
How would it work?
The cloud would be built of light carbon, and would carry a giant envelope filled with helium gas. The fake cloud would be manipulated by a remote control, and would use four solar-powered (of course!) engines for maneuvering between the stadium and the sun, to block direct light and provide shade.
That sounds expensive. How much would it cost?
Right now, it's an estimated $500,000 per cloud. That's actually "pretty inexpensive... when you take into account how much money is swishing around Qatar these days," says Nicholas Deleon at CrunchGear. Plus, it's "impressively low" for "technology of this magnitude," says Glenn Davis at SportsGrid. And Ghani says the cost will decrease when the artifical clouds become commercially available. Then, he says, they could be used at beaches, parking lots, or other shadeless areas, and may even be controlled by cellphones in the future.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- Why Peter Capaldi has a bigger challenge than any Doctor Who in history
- Dean Koontz's 5 favorite books
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 10 things you need to know today: July 23, 2014
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
Subscribe to the Week