Staying alive, pod-style

It seems a Japanese company has come up with a novel approach to surviving earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and other natural disasters. The Australian reports:

A SMALL Japanese company has developed a modern, miniature version of Noah’s Ark in case Japan is hit by another massive earthquake and tsunami: a floating capsule that looks like a huge tennis ball.

Japan’s Cosmo Power says its “Noah” shelter is made of enhanced fiberglass that can save users from disasters like the one on March 11 that devasted Japan’s northern coast, leaving nearly 20,000 people dead or missing.

Company president Shoji Tanaka says the 300,000 yen [about US $3,900] capsule can hold four adults, and that it has survived many crash tests. It has a small lookout window and breathing holes on top. It also can be used as a toy house for children.

There’s more at the link.

It’s not a bad idea if you’re in a tsunami-prone area, I guess: but after the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, rescuers were searching for weeks to find any survivors who’d been washed out to sea. There was simply too much wreckage out there to be searched any faster. Could this thing stay afloat for that long if necessary? Could it contain sufficient emergency food and water supplies to keep its occupant(s) alive until rescuers found them?

I suspect this may be more of a ‘feel-good’ device than a practical lifesaver. Still, if I lived in an area where the risks were very high, I suspect I’d rather have it, than have nothing at all!



  1. Necessity is the mother of invention. I think Mr. Tanaka has his thinking cap on, and it would be interesting to see how far this goes, say, in one or two years and if he has takers.
    You might have been in Africa at the time, but when I first came to Montreal in '51, we heard of people digging holes in their back yards and building bunkers in the event of an atomic bomb attack. Now, of course, we know that the US was the sole owner of the atomic bomb, but it was not common knowledge then.

  2. The color seems like it'd help with early pickup. There might have been a lot of debris and people mixed out in the ocean post-tsunami, but I doubt very many of the people were in flourescent yellow bubbles. 🙂

  3. It looks a bit like some of the self-righting emergency exit rafts used on deep-water oil rigs, the ones that are made to drop from the deck without damaging the occupants or sinking.

  4. Four adults in something 1.2 m in diameter! Bounce it around for a few hours with that load and open it up. What you find won't be a pretty sight.

  5. Greetings from Texas,
    Up to four people? I would go nuts in one by my self.

    Food and water supplys? I got a better question, BATHROOM?

    After about six hours I would claw my way out of it so I oould drownd!

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