Science | October 18, 2021 9:05 am

Would You Visit a Resort Built on an Oil Platform?

Think "The White Lotus" meets "Waterworld"

Oil platform
An oil platform.
Dean Brierley/Unsplash

This month, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia has been in the news for its recent purchase of a massive stake in English soccer club Newcastle United. It’s not surprising that this maneuver has sparked controversy, nor is it particularly shocking that both the purchase and the reaction to it have drawn headlines. But that’s also far from the only massive project the oil-rich nation’s sovereign wealth fund has invested in as of late. And there’s another that — depending on your perspective — could look like an intriguing use of infrastructure or a wildly dissonant convergence of trends.

The project is called THE RIG., and the impetus behind it is simple: what if a luxury resort was built on an oil platform? The project’s website features a computer-animated scene of luxury hotels and a Ferris wheel, along with pedestrian walkways and personal submersibles. (And some EDM for good measure.)

As Jody Serrano points out at Gizmodo, there are more than a few dissonant points about this whole venture, not the least of which is that the project has embraced a host of ecologically-friendly buzzwords despite being built on, you know, an oil drilling platform.

The full video advertising the resort is especially fascinating for the way it blends an embrace of the more infrastructural aspects of the project — including a scene of divers pondering some structures that have been underwater for decades — with shots of water slides and rollercoasters that wouldn’t be out of place in a commercial for an amusement park. And the ensuing sense of cognitive dissonance makes for a memorable viewing — but not necessarily one that’ll leave you wanting to book a trip to a remote destination surrounded by water.