A carousel (American English: from French carrousel and Italian carosello), roundabout (British English), or merry-go-round, is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders. The “seats” are traditionally in the form of rows of wooden horses or other animals mounted on posts, many of which are moved up and down by gears to simulate galloping, to the accompaniment of looped circus music. This leads to one of the alternative American names, the galloper. Other popular names are jumper, horseabout and flying horses.
Carousels are commonly populated with horses, each horse weighing roughly 100 lbs (45 kg), but may include a variety of mounts, for example pigs, zebras, tigers or mythological creatures such as dragons or unicorns. Sometimes, chairlike or bench like seats are used and occasionally mounts can be shaped like aeroplanes or cars.
The “roundabouts” or “merry-go-rounds” installed in playgrounds are usually somewhat different devices: simple, child-powered rotating platforms with bars or handles to which children can cling while riding.