Sunday, April 4, 2010
The Carousel at the Zoo
Luckily, Mom took her camera to the zoo and came home with a bunch of pictures, so that I could see the interesting animals and maybe talk about some of them in my blog. But the first thing I decided to talk about is the carousel, which has a whole bunch of animals on it. All of these animals are carved by hand out of wood and are painted bright colors. They are mostly all animals that are ENDANGERED, so while you are riding on the back of a tiger, for example, you can think about how there might someday not be any tigers in the world unless they are saved.
After I saw the pictures of the carousel at the Kansas City Zoo, I started wondering when carousels were invented, so I looked at Wikipedia, and I found out that there was a carved Byzantine picture from 500 A.D. that showed people riding in baskets that were hanging from a center pole. So this was the first known carousel, and most early carousels were of this same type, where there was a central pole and the riders were suspended from it and went around and around. Which would tend to make a person dizzy, so this was probably a fun thing to do if you don't mind getting dizzy.
In America, carousels are sometimes called "merry-go-rounds" and in the U.K. they are sometimes called "roundabouts." Also, in America, they go counter-clockwise, and in Europe they go clockwise. American carousels usually have mostly horses on them, and European carousels have more other types of animals like zebras and pigs and dragons.