Road InfrastructureTourism & Travel

‘Jellyfish’ design carries story of world’s first undersea traffic circle around the world

Image credits: Ólavur Frederiksen — FaroePhoto

The news story of Eysturoyartunnilin (the Eysturoy Tunnel) — the giant undersea road tunnel between the Faroese capital Tórshavn and the Island of Eysturoy set to open on December 19th — has seen significant coverage across the world in the past week.

Major media outlets such as BBC News, Fox News, CGTN, The Guardian and CNN Travel, alongside travel guide Lonely Planet, brought attention to the story about the world’s first undersea roundabout, many of them dubbing it “jellyfish” like.

That’s a reference to the decorative art installation surrounding the traffic circle — some 187 meters under the sea, an 80-meter design by Faroese artist Tróndur Patursson that combines a large ring of life-size human figures with colored lighting effects.

CNN Travel wrote: “Where the possibilities are endless: Striking new underwater traffic circle opening in the Faroe Islands.”

“Giant underwater ‘jellyfish’ roundabout becomes latest Faroe Islands tourist attraction,” a headline in The Guardian read. “Already a hit on social-media, an infrastructure project linking the two largest islands is set to become a big draw for foreign visitors,” the article’s subhead said.

“This is no ordinary roundabout,” The Guardian wrote. “Looming at the end of an 11km-long tunnel under the North Atlantic, it looks like a giant jellyfish, illuminated with aquamarine lighting and surrounded by life-size dancing figures.”

“Aside from its striking appearance, it’s been called the first underwater roundabout, sitting at a junction of the newest of the tunnels that link the two most populous Faroe Islands: Streymoy and Eysturoy.”

Teitur Samuelsen, CEO of Eystur- og Sandoyartunlar, the government-owned tunnel operator, was quoted saying “We think people will drive through the tunnel just for the experience.”

Samuelsen was also quoted by several other media.

“I spoke to Tróndur Patursson about it,” he said according to CGTN Europe. “The art symbolizes among other things the people walking from the darkness toward the light. Which means that every person shall use their skills here in life for something. It also symbolizes the Faroese chain dance, where people hold hands, and when the Faroese hold hands — working together — we are able to do more together than individually.”

Pictures of the spectacular scenery were taken by photographer Ólavur Frederiksen (FaroePhoto); check out his latest photos from the Eysturoy Tunnel’s colorful traffic circle.

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