Engineering is the application of science to problem solving. It’s concerned with design, building and the use of mahines, engines and structures. From the world’s tallest building to the International Space Station, this is a list of 10 engineering marvels that will blow your mind.
The New Valley Project
Egypt is creating one of the biggest irrigation systems in history in order to irrigate 500,000 acres of land. The Egyptian government decided on this in 1997, with the intention of creating a second nile valley. They’re hoping that this will help them cope with their rising population. The Mubarak Pumping Station is the project’s centrepiece and was inaugurated in march 2005. Graduaates in Egypt will be lucky enough to receive an acre of land each, which will be founded by the Long Live Egypt Fund. Only half of the land will be divided between the graduates. The project still has a lot of problems to solve but if it succeeds it will be one of the most amazing engineering marvels of our time.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Some call it the Pearl Bridge, it’s the longest suspension bridge in the world. Engineers made the bridge 6,532 ft long to connect Kobe city to Awaji Island. In the past ferries used to carry passengers to their destinations but this was a dangerous endeavour. Ferries, and sailors often have to suffer through storms in order to traverse the water. In one instance two ferries were sunk by the storm, causing 168 people to die. The government decided to build a bridge to create a safe way of getting across the Akashi Strait, but only after public outrage. The ferries sank in 1955, but engineers only finished constructing the bridge in 1988.
Beijing National Stadium
Architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron designed this large, steel structure for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Not only is it the largest steel structure in the world, but it’s also one of the most aesthetic. It was named the birds nest because of it’s apparent likeness. It may be one of China’s engineering marvels but after the Olympics it’s had trouble garnering much use. China spent £300 million on this spectacular stadium. You could fit 91,000 people into the nest during the Olympics but since the games ended this has been reduced to 80,000. They managed to build it to a gross volume of three million cubic metres, making the world’s largest enclosed space.
The Bailong Elevator
The Bailong Elevator is both the heaviest and highest elevator in the world. It rises to over 1,000 feet high, and reaches that in minutes. People get in at the bottom, and have reached the top in only two minutes. A maximum of 50 people can enjoy this ride at a time, allowing 18,00 people to use it daily. China began work on this amazing structure in 1999, and finished in by 2002. They built the elevator out of glass, riders can enjoy the view on their way up the cliff. Some call the Hundred Dragons Elevator, because everything in China has to have a cool name.
Tourists can find the largest artificial islands the world knows in Dubai. There are three islands, Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, and Deira Island. The islands are home to hundreds of villas, and lots of leisure facilities. The islands are designed to attract tourism to the city of Dubai. There are 1500 villas on the islands.
The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure in the world, standing at 2,722 ft. Construction started in 2004, and the tower was opened in 2010. It was created as part of a project called Downtown Dubai. The building was made for two reasons, to help Dubai move from an oil based economy to something more sustainable, and to help Dubai gain recognition from all over the world. The Burj Khalifa breaks a ton of records including, tallest free-standing structure in the world, highest number of stories in the world, tallest service elevator in the world, highest outdoor observation deck in the world, highest occupied floor in the world, and elevator with the longest travel distance in the world.
The London Underground
The London Underground is a public rapid transit system serving Greater London. The network is 249 miles long and there are over 1 billion journeys annually. The amazing network was first created in 1863 and back then they used wooden carriages pulled by steam locomotives. Many of the tube stations were used as bunkers during World War Two, some of which housed world leaders like Winston Churchill, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Central Line was transformed into a secret fighter aircraft factory. Aldgate station was built on a plague pit where over 1,000 people were buried. The tube travels over 40 million miles every year, which is halfway the distance to the sun.
The Great Wall Of China
The Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world, and one of the greatest engineering marvels. The wall is 17,170 miles long, and has existed for more than 2,300 years. It was created to protect the Chinese from invading nomadic tribes from the Eurasian Steppe. The wall was built over a long period of time by many different people. The construction was started by state overlords during the Zhou Dynasty (770-221 BC). It was then continued by the Qin Dynasty, the Han Dynasty, and the Ming Dynasty. The Han dynasty extended the wall into today’s western China to defend the Silk Road Trade. What some people don’t know is that it was more than just a wall, it also had fortresses, watch towers and command posts built in.
The International Space Station
The International Space Station is the largest artificial satellite orbiting the Earth 220 miles away. The objective was to learn more about the possibility of living and working in space. It’s so large that sometimes it can actually be spotted by eye on Earth. The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components. American and Russian aerospace engineers built the initial two shuttles, these combined to form the the foundations of the ISS. It has the space to home six astronauts. It has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a gymnasium. It didn’t come cheap, and costed around $150 million.
The Great Lion Mine
The Tautona Mine or Great Lion Mine is the deepest mine in the world. It goes so deep that it reaches temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius. They have to use powerful air conditioning just to make it safe enough for the miners to work. The mine has been used to dig for gold for the past 50 years. The mine is known for being one of the most efficient in South Africa, and never closes down. It remains in continuous operation even when the price of gold is low. The lift cage transports workers from from the surface to the bottom at 36 mph, which means that it takes about 1 hour to reach the bottom because of horizontal trolleys.