This is the "before" shot, peep the "after" in the video below
Photo by John Pickard
Once upon a time, sawmills were located exclusively on rivers. Being next to water had multiple advantages: Trees felled upstream were simply floated down the river to the mill, easing transport; a backlog (pardon the pun) of logs could be left floating in the water as temporary storage; a waterwheel in the river could power the actual sawblade; and boats could easily access the sawmill to take the finished lumber away.
It's been a long time since lumberjacks routinely floated logs down a river, but waterborne vessels are of course still used to transport lumber. This week an amazing video surfaced of the Seaspan Harvester, a timber barge designed to unload its cargo in a crazy way—by tilting sideways to dump it into the water:
So how does that work? By gaming the ballast tanks, the ship can be made to tilt 30 degrees to the side, then gravity takes care of the rest.
Full-size GIF at Sploid
Longtime Core77 readers may remember our post on the similar maritime method of side-launching; particularly dedicated folks may recall that way back in '07, we took a quick look at ships designed to pull tricks like these. They're called semi-submersibles and can be used to transport enormous cargo, like other ships and even oil-drilling rigs. Check out the Blue Marlin, the largest cargo transport ship in the world:
Here's a CG video of how the Blue Marlin does its thing:
Of course, for the most part a semi-submersible's submersion process is less dramatic than the Seaspan Harvester's. Here's a realtime video of the Kang Sheng Kou discharging its load in the Arabian Sea:
Via Vitaly Petrukhin