back to article Chinese man's six-ton balls save lives

Wacky Chinese inventor Yang Zongfu has unveiled his answer to Noah’s Ark – a radiation-proof, six ton steel-encased ball designed to protect a family of three from disaster. The bizarre bubble took eccentric businessman Yang two years to build and cost a whopping 1.5 million yuan (£150,868), according to China Daily. The …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    How many for the entire Chinese population?

    It sounds like a lot of balls to me.

    1. LarsG


      Did they get him out with a can opener?

    2. asdf

      Re: How many for the entire Chinese population?

      Wow so the Chinese have Glen Beck listening gold hording doomsday bunker tea baggers as well?

  2. LinkOfHyrule

    A mate of mine works for TaylorWoodrowBarretWimpeyArsePipes the house builders, and he is reliably informed that the company is importing 300 of these balls for a new development! They will be sticking a slate roof and uPVC conservatory on each of them and then dumping them in the middle of the athletes village to form part of the regenerated East London's Olympic legacy!

  3. Matthew Glubb

    Prior Art

    Just watch Escape From New York.

    1. LesC

      Re: Prior Art

      Didn't Wil E. Coyote have an Acme 'Indestructo' steel ball in the 1950's?

      Mines is the ones with the Chuck Jones cartoons in the pocket.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Prior Art

        Indiana Jones just needs a fridge.

        But at least we now know that the giant ball that chased him in Temple of Doom contained a Chinese man.

        1. User McUser

          Re: Prior Art

          Surely you mean "Raiders of the Lost Ark"...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    300 patents?

    Surely that's a contradiction in terms in China?

    1. David Dawson

      Re: 300 patents?

      No, no... they ignore other peoples patents. These are chinese ones, violate those and you'll talking to a nice gentleman from the PLA.

      1. Caoilte

        Re: 300 patents?

        They learnt well from US (who did same thing after kicking Britain out).

      2. Fatman

        Re: nice gentleman from the PLA.

        Actually, you are more likely to get quite intimate with a brick wall, and the bullets lodged in it.

  5. Thomas 4

    Actually, this isn't quite as mad as it seems

    If he can improve the design so that several spheres can interlock with each other, it'd be a good way to have underwater science labs.

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Actually, this isn't quite as mad as it seems

      A floating, underwater science lab?

  6. Bumpy Cat

    The shelters from Fallout 3, anyone?

  7. Shark? what shark?

    The apocolypse protection angle is just a front

    It's actually for a pre-emptive strike in marbles

  8. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    fatal floods?

    Do these steel balls float?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: fatal floods?

      Probably- if it is heat resistant, and shock absorbing, a foam-like material would be an obvious choice.

    2. Primus Secundus Tertius

      Re: fatal floods?

      Do they float? Let's do some arithmetic.

      6 tons of steel is just under 1 cubic metre. Diameter 4m, radius 2m, surface area 16pi, say 50 square metres. So average thickness is 1/50 metre, or 2cms. Respectably thick but not like a tank.

      Volume approx 30 cubic metres, density therefore 6/30 tons per cubic metre. Yes, it will certainly float (water is 1 ton per cubic metre).

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: fatal floods?

        So good for earthquales and floods. Bet it won't survive molten lava.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: fatal floods?

          It might - you won't.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: fatal floods?

          Yes, but will it blend?

    3. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

      Re: fatal floods?

      Oh yes... They float, Georgie.

      (troll cos no pennywise-the-clown icon, more's the pity)

      1. Marcelo Rodrigues

        Re: fatal floods?

        We all float down here. :D

  9. Tom_


    It's pretty lucky that it didn't land in the water with the hatch facing down.

  10. Mystic Megabyte

    Spin mode

    So you get washed down river, under or perhaps through several bridges and out to sea. Then you just open the hatch and start the outboard engine to get back to the shore. Ooops!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disappointed at the lack of AC/DC references

    "...some balls are held for charity

    and some are fancy dress

    but it's the balls that are held for pleasure

    that I like the best ...."

  12. Code Monkey
    Thumb Up

    "Safety seat"

    A spring-mounted seat sounds anything but safe. Tremendous fun, yes - safe, good grief no!

    Seats aside this is tremendous lunatic boffinry. Well done Mr Chinese Loon, sir!

  13. Blubster


    Let me get this straight. He damaged his helmet when playing with his balls?

    1. Marcelo Rodrigues

      Re: So......

      You. New keyboard. Now.

  14. Monty Burns

    And the exchange rate winner is....

    Is it answer A from China Daily "and 1.5 million yuan ($23,400) in creating his safe bubble"


    is it answer B from El Reg with " cost a whopping 1.5 million yuan (£150,868), "


    that's right, its El Reg! Well done.... "1,500,000.00 CNY = 151,139.63 GBP "

    China Daily reporter, must try harder!

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: And the exchange rate winner is....

      Just an omitted zero error, it should be $234,000 (closer to $236,000 at the time of posting this). Easy enough mistake to make, we've all been there.

      1. SkippyBing

        Re: And the exchange rate winner is....

        If you often make those mistakes, I've got a few hundred dollars I need changing...

  15. Winkypop Silver badge

    A springly chinese seat in a ball

    Spring Roll ?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems like a bad idea to me

    Fecal matter occurs. Your ball is washed up somewhere. A crowd of people gather.

    "The top began moving...



    Next thing you know, somebody with a background in Science Fiction has a .30-06 trained on the hatch, and the first person out's head is a red mist.


    1. CaptainHook

      Re: Seems like a bad idea to me

      Simply hit them with the heat ray first, then stick your head out...

      *note to self, take some antibiotics before opening the hatch.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: note to self

        You forgot the more important note to self:

        *note to self: remember what antibiotics are and why I need them.

    2. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      Re: "Seems like a bad idea to me" You owe me a keyboard DDH!

      See title.


    3. A J Stiles
      Thumb Down

      Re: Seems like a bad idea to me

      Most of the world is not like the USA, with paranoid gun-toting crazies everywhere.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Already patented...

    ... by the Yes Men:

  18. Mike Moyle

    Re: Chinese Man's Six-Ton Balls Save Lives

    With that title I thought this article was going to be about another one of Yang Rongshan's plans to bring Proview back from the dead!

  19. Kurt 5

    Into orbit

    Now they just need a giant cannon.

  20. tony2heads

    subcontractor for Hadden industries?

    Sounds like he is building the capsule in "Contact"

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But will it survive

    Being blown 600 feet into the air by a nuclear explosion then bouncing down a hillside ?

    Just curious, also wonder if the US Military would be able to test it for him :-)

    I nominate "The Stig" to be the volunteer.


  22. Andus McCoatover

    Too obvious...

  23. mhenriday

    The fun thing is the Chinese translation of Noah's Ark (诺亚方舟)

    is, as the photos accompanying the China Daily article (thanks for the link, Phil !) make clear, painted in large glyphs on the surface of the spheroid. But the Chinese term for Ark (方舟) literally means «square/rectangular boat». Wonder what Eukleides would have said about this attempt to square the circle....


  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought Duke Nukem was the one with BALLS OF STEEL?

  25. Corborg


    How you like these Chinese balls?

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