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Amazon is opening up its ‘rainforest’ Spheres to the public

Amazon Spheres
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Visitors to downtown Seattle can’t miss the Amazon Spheres. The three glass orbs opened in January, providing employees at the web giant’s headquarters with a plant-filled oasis to enjoy during breaks.

The steel, concrete, and glass structure is home to around 400 species of plants from 50 different countries, with many of the 40,000 plants from cool and humid forest ecosystems.

Also known as Bezos’s Balls (the first part taken from the family name of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and the second part referring to, er, the shape of the spheres), the company has decided to open up the space to the public, giving locals and travelers a chance to experience the interior of this impressive construction.

The Spheres will be opening its doors on two Saturdays each month starting April 21, allowing ticket holders to fully explore the space in all its green glory, GeekWire reports.

Up to now, visitors could only enter the giant greenhouse during a tour of Amazon’s adjacent headquarters. It’s also currently possible to enter a limited area called Understory at the base of the building as part of the free “Spheres Discovery” attraction. But this doesn’t let people enter the part with all of those leafy wonders. This limited access has led to disappointment among some people who’d been expecting to have a proper look around. The Seattle Times described Understory as “a tiny portion of the building” that offered no view of the greenery, though it did praise the quality of the various exhibits on offer.

In an effort to prevent disappointment, Amazon includes a note in bold on its Spheres website, saying, “Please be aware that the Understory exhibit is separate from the indoor gardens of The Spheres.”

Now, two months after it opened, Amazon is now ready to grant full access to its orbs to give interested visitors a more immersive experience.

The Spheres website now includes a reservation system for the free Saturday visits (look for the “book a visit” link a little way down the page). The tours begin every 15 minutes, starting at 10 a.m. There’s also an FAQ page explaining what you need know before you go, for example, those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, only small bags can be taken inside (no coat/bag check is available), and personal photography is allowed.

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