The SS Liposuction: A revolution in green ship technology

If you think you’ve seen everything, wait until you get a glimpse of this:

New Zealand engineer Pe Bethune recently sold everything he owned to realize his dream of building a ship that runs exclusively on green technologies. The boat’s engine runs in part on human-fat biodiesel, and all the electronic devices on board are powered via solar energy.

And no, the name of the ship is unfortunately not the SS Liposuction. Nope, not the SS Love Handle either. Bethune baptized his boat EarthRace. He built it using all the newest and most innovative technologies in the world of navigation, allowing the 24-meter-long ship to be the lightest sea vehicle in its category.

Does Bethune have a grudge against fat? Not at all. He simply wants to prove to the world—by designing and building EarthRace—that green energy can be, unlike what most people think, synonymous with power and speed. He wants to beat the world record of how fast a boat can go around the earth, which currently is 75 days. He’ll make his attempt on March 1, 2008, from Valencia, in Spain, at an average speed of 20 to 25 knots.

But back to the most interesting part… how did Bethume get his hands on the human fat biodiesel? He and two friends voluntarily underwent liposuction, which produced 10 liters of human fat. That amount is just enough to make the boat run for 0.15 kilometers. Yeah, I know, it seems ridiculous, but if they did it so everybody would talk about them, it certainly worked.


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