HL London: 15 Fun Facts as The Coco Cola London Eye Celebrates 15 Years

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The Coca Cola London Eye is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year! Since first opening 15 years ago in 2000, the London Eye has become one of the world's most iconic landmarks, offering unrivaled 360 degree views over London.

A source of pride for the whole country as well as the capital, the London Eye has much more to offer alongside its inspiring views and exquisite engineering.

The attraction has become an internationally recognized symbol for London, and a hugely popular filming location – featuring in countless films including Hollywood blockbusters 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' and 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'.

The London Eye also played an integral role within the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic, Games, highlighting its iconic place amongst the capital's historic treasures. The attraction was featured in both the opening and closing ceremony, whilst also playing host to The Olympic Torch, which was displayed on top of one of the 32 capsules.

David Sharpe, Divisional Director of London Midway attractions, Merlin Entertainments said: "The London Eye has far exceeded any of our expectations and has now become one of the world's most recognized and loved landmarks. Our first 15 years have been truly amazing - we've been part of some incredible events, stunts and celebrations and we have all taken enormous pleasure in welcoming guests from across the world as well as the UK. We hope our guests have a fantastic time helping us celebrate this milestone birthday and are all sharing our excitement about what the future holds for the attraction."

Kate Hoey, local MP said: "The London Eye is a must for all visitors and it has given huge pleasure to our local community. I just can't imagine the South Bank without it."

London Eye architects David Marks and Julia Barfield said: "It is hard to believe that 15 years ago we conceived, designed, led a team of architects and engineers, and started a new company to create something that is now as much a part of London today as Tower Bridge or Big Ben. We are proud that the London Eye has become an integral part of our culture as well as a much loved symbol of London."

As the UK's official number one paid for attraction, the London Eye helps to drive over 25 million people to the South Bank each year and in January 2015 the London Eye welcomed a new sponsor, Coco Cola.

Fun facts about the London Eye

            • If you add up each rotation the Eye has completed during the past 15 years, it has totaled an astonishing distance of 32,932 miles - (considering that the earth's circumference is 24,901 miles, it means The London Eye has travelled around the world 1.3 times).

            • Over 5000 couples have proposed on the London Eye since opening in March 2000, most of these were in private Cupid's Capsules accompanied by a host and Champagne.

            • The Olympic torch took a ride on top of the London Eye in 2012, held by 17 year old Amelia Hempleman-Adams, the youngest person to ski to the South Pole.

            • Supermodel Kate Moss holds the record for the UK celebrity that's enjoyed the most rotations, standing at 25, and Hollywood actress Jessica Alba hold the record for the overseas celebrity that's enjoyed the most rotations on the London Eye standing at 31.

            • The London Eye's 4D show features the first ever 3D aerial footage of London and the Mayor of London's NYE fireworks.

            • On a clear day, you can see around 40km from the top of the Coca Cola London Eye - as far as Windsor Castle.

            • The London Eye can carry 800 passengers per rotation, equivalent to 11 London red double decker buses.

            • The London Eye has 32 capsules in total, one for each of the London boroughs. For superstitious reasons they are numbered 1 to 33, with capsule 13 left out for good luck.

            • Each of the 32 capsules weighs 10 tonnes.

            • Each rotation of the London Eye takes approximately 30 minutes, meaning that a capsule travels at a stately 26cm per second, or 0.9km (0.6 miles) per hour – twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting; this slow rate of rotation allows passengers to step on and off without the wheel having to stop

            • In one year the London Eye will rotate 7,668 times, or 2,300 miles - as far as from London to Cairo.

            • The circumference of the wheel is 424m (1,392ft) – meaning that if it were unravelled, it would be about 1.25 times higher than the UK's tallest building (The Shard, which is 308m tall).

            • The height of the London Eye is 135m (443ft – equivalent to 64 red telephone boxes piled on top of each other).

            • Since opening in 2000, the Coca-Cola London Eye has welcomed almost 60 million visitors and has won over 40 awards for national and international tourism and engineering achievement, as well as numerous people's choice awards.

            • It took seven years and the skills of hundreds of people from five countries to make the London Eye a reality.

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