Try not to jiggle while watching these amazing bladeless wind turbines.

The wind: A cool breeze, a breath of fresh air, a pollen delivery system.

When it's not inverting your umbrella, knocking over your pitcher of iced tea, or sadistically ushering a balloon away from a crying child, the wind is capable of doing some pretty powerful stuff.


Photo by Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images.

Most notably, the wind can generate electricity, which, for the most part, involves turbines that look like this:


Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

You've seen them, I'm sure. Those giant, futuristic looking propellors that slowly rotate and are the perfect tension-driving backdrop for a helicopter chase scene?

A startup in Spain called Vortex, however, has recently come up with a new design for the turbines. It looks like this:

Image via Vortex Bladeless/YouTube.

It's called Bladeless, and it's a wind turbine with — you guessed it — no blades.

The bladeless turbines are massive poles jutting out of the ground. Because they're thinner than a regular wind turbine and have no blades, more of them can fit into a space, meaning more electricity can be generated while taking up less real estate.

So how does the bladeless turbine generate power?

Get this: It freaking jiggles.

Jiggle jiggle jiggle. GIF via Vortex Bladeless/YouTube.

Here it is from a different angle:

Jiggle jiggle jiggle. GIF via Vortex Bladeless/YouTube.

You're jiggling now too, aren't you? Come on, I know you are.

JIGGLE JIGGLE JIGGLE. GIF via Vortex Bladeless/YouTube.

Besides being contagious and relatively adorable, as far as wind turbines go, that jiggle motion is actually based on a fascinating branch of science called aeroelasticity.

Aeroelasticity is the study of how elastic things move when exposed to constant energy — like how a bungie cord might fare in a tornado.

A good example of aeroelasticity-gone-wild happened in 1940 at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, when it was blasted with winds up to 40 mph. The suspension cables absorbed the impact but made the bridge vibrate and undulate, causing a positive feedback loop known as an aeroelastic flutter, where each vibration made the next vibration even worse.

GIF via Laughterpiece Productions/YouTube.

The whole bridge started swinging wildly out of control, and then...

GIF via Laughterpiece Productions/YouTube.

Thankfully, no one died, and engineers actually learned several important lessons about bridge design.

The designers of the bladeless turbine also learned something from the Tacoma Bridge disaster.

The bladeless turbine design actually captures the power of aeroelastic flutter and uses its magnified vibrations to create power from less wind than the old turbine designs could.

GIF via Vortex Bladeless/YouTube.

The company says that its design is 40% cheaper than traditional turbines because the huge blades those require are expensive. Plus, they expect upkeep to be cheaper since the bladeless turbines have fewer moving parts. Bladeless turbines will also be quieter and create less wind disturbance, which are both popular arguments against bladed turbines.

All of this is to say — we humans are getting better and better at harnessing the power of the wind.

Here in the United States, we're actually better at harnessing the wind to power people's homes than you might expect. There are currently over 48,000 wind turbines generating 74,512 megawatts of electricity in nearly every single state, which made the U.S. one of the top countries in wind energy in 2015.

All that clean energy, here and around the world, is (slowly) helping us reduce carbon emissions and fight back against climate change, and innovative ideas like the bladeless turbine are constantly seeking to make that process easier.

Maybe one day you'll look outside and see a hundred bladeless turbines jiggling happily away in the wind. And when, or if, that day comes, I bet you'll be jiggling too.

Jiggle jiggle jiggle. GIF via Vortex Bladeless/YouTube.

Check out the full Vortex Bladeless video here:

Heroes
via The Guardian / YouTube

Beluga whales are affectionately known as sea canaries for their song-like vocalizations, and their name is the Russian word for "white."

They are sociable animals that live, hunt, and migrate together in pods, ranging from a few individuals to hundreds of whales. However, they are naturally reticent to interact with humans, although some solitary belugas are known to approach boats.

Once such beluga that's believed to live in Norwegian waters is so comfortable among humans that it played fetch with a rugby ball.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Many of us are too young to remember the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 of 1986, much less any details about it. But thanks to a viral Facebook post from Misfit History, some attention is being shed on an incredible heroine who saved many American lives in the standoff.

The post reads:

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The truth doesn't hurt for an elementary school teacher in California who's gone viral for teaching her class an empowering remix of one of Lizzo's hit songs.

Ms. Mallari — who teaches at Los Medanos Elementary School in Pittsburg, east of San Francisco — took the singer's song, "Truth Hurts," and reworked the lyrics to teach her students how to be great.

Lizzo's song made history this year for being the longest running number one single from a female rap artist. The catchy original lyrics are about boy problems, but Mallari's remix teaches her students about fairness, helping each other out, and embracing their own greatness.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Newsy People / Twitter

The internet was ablaze after notoriously private actor Keanu Reeves, 55, walked the red carpet at the LACMA Art + Film Gala on Saturday with his new girlfriend, artist Alexandra Grant, 46.

It was refreshing to see a man in Hollywood dating a woman who's age-appropriate. Older actors are notorious for being with women half their age.

Keep Reading Show less
popular