10 Facts 

London Eye: Top 10 facts as famous capital landmark turns 18

1. When the it opened in 2000, it was granted planning permission for only five years, but in 2003 it was extended for at least another 24 years.

2. With a height of 135 metres (443ft), it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, holding that title until surpassed by one in Nanchang, China, in 2006.

3. Supported on one side only, it is still the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel.

4. It offered London’s highest public viewing point until beaten by The Shard in 2013.

5. The London Eye was formally opened by Tony Blair on December 31, 1999 but problems delayed its opening to the public until March 9, 2000.

6. It has 32 capsules, one for each of London’s 32 boroughs. They are numbered from one to 33, omitting unlucky 13.

7. This month, the London Eye also celebrates its 70 millionth visitor and 134,500th revolution.

8. With a diameter of 120 metres, that means the total distance travelled by each capsule is over 50,000km which is 1.25 times round the Equator.

9. The capsules travel at 26cm per sec (0.6mph).

10. For today only, the London Eye offers a free ride to anyone born on March 9, 2000 who shows their passport or driving licence at the ticket office.

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