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

This article originally appeared on 05.12.16


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:

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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