French architect Jaques Rougerie designed this floating rig that would look right at home in Jules Verne's story. So far, only a scale model has been built (this whole thing is from 2005), but the real thing will be a huge 51-meter tall floating platform.
The upper part of the Sea Orbiter will be a scientific station for studies of the climate and changes in water and the atmosphere. The station will make wave measurements and calibrate the precise position of satellite trajectories. The underwater part of the new vessel will be equipped with a fish-collection system for studies of the pelagic ecosystem, plankton biodiversity and fish stocks.