Humans are wonderful creatures when it comes to figuring out ways to build and improve things. Here are the 6 greatest engineering achievements in human history.
1. The Brooklyn Bridge
Before you say “meh, it’s just a bridge”, it’s not. The Brooklyn Bridge took a bit over 14 years to complete, and it’s not only because the head architect lost his life there in the early stages of the project. What was supposed to be a conventional construction turned out as an impossible task. The new project overseer scrapped the old schematics and went for the more reliable, but also untested, suspension option. Today this giant provides 6 lanes of traffic, plus bike and pedestrian lanes, and is considered to be one of the engineering masterpieces (at the time of completion).
2. The Eiffel Tower
You probably know that Gustave Eiffel, who built the tower, straight out bought the patent rights, meaning he had no part in actually designing the structure. Instead, he made sure the tower would bear his name no matter what, so he set up an entire scheme with fake building companies and subsidiaries. In the end, the people hated it, but back in 1889 the Eiffel tower was the tallest man-made structure and definitely deserves a spot on this list.
3. Burj Khalifa
Say hi to the tallest building ever erected (well, for now) – Burj Khalifa. This thing has something for everything: you got your swimming pools, fancy hotel apartments, offices, and probably a canteen or five. If you would ever wanted to feel what it’s like to go up 2909 steps – Burj Khalifa has you covered. That’s 160 floors, BTW.
4. The Roman water distribution system
Modern irrigation and water distribution systems are incredibly advanced, but they’d probably never come to be if it wasn’t for the Romans. They used gravity to their advantage and learned how to distribute water with the use of pipes, reservoirs, aqueducts, etc. Every city, town, and village could have running water, which was insane for that time. Some of the systems still work to this day, 2000 years later.
5. The Leshan Buddha
230ft (70,1 meters) tall Leshan Buddha is the tallest Buddha statue in the world. What’s even more mind-blowing is that it was carved from a single gigantic chunk of sandstone, which hasn’t eroded in almost 1100 years! All those hair buns were specifically designed by the old masters to collect rainwater and direct it to a system of drains and pipes, therefore securing the longevity of the statue.
6. The Channel Tunnel
Being an island nation is not easy. There are too many things that can go wrong and then you all die of hunger, disease or god knows what else. Sure, they got boats and, much later, airplanes, but it’s just not the same as going through a vast underwater tunnel by car. A tunnel between England and France has always been a wet dream for thousands of people, even though the two nations have a rather nasty history. Then, one day in the 80s’, after a lot of paperwork, the work on “the Channel” got underway. They started building it from both sides using huge drills, then 14 years later it was all done and ready! Now you can get from London to Paris in about 2 hours, and that’s a fantastic feat.