This Is A Sailboat And Those Are Sails

We are undeniably using up what little remains of Earth’s petroleum, and because of that, it’s getting expensive. To reduce fuel costs, shipping companies are turning back to sailboats. Yes, seriously. Sailboats. But they don’t look like any sails you’ve seen before.

You know sails – most of the time big rectangle things, sometimes big triangle things, almost always (but not always-always) made out of cloth. But while those things in the top gif don’t look like your normal sails, that’s what they are. They just don’t work like any sail you’ve ever seen before.

Most sails you’ve seen rely on the wind directly acting against them to provide propulsion. But these new types of sails, known as “rotor sails” rely on a physics principle called the Magnus Effect.

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