Humans have accomplished some pretty impressive feats over the years, and it may come as a surprise to learn that the heaviest structures in the world were built by mankind. From ancient pyramids to more recent palaces and practical infrastructure, here are 5 of the heaviest man-made objects in the world.
1. The Great Wall of China – 116 Billion Pounds
At 116 billion pounds, the Great Wall of China is the heaviest man-made structure in the world. It stretches so long that it equals half the length of the equator, its total length coming in at approximately 13 170 miles. Different parts of the wall were constructed by various dynasties over the 2000 years of which is was created, with the earlier portions consisting of wood, packed earth, and stone. It is the longest structure ever built by humans and is one of the Great Wonders of the World.
2. Three Gorges Dam – 20.8 Billion Pounds
Definitely one of China’s more controversial projects, the Three Gorges dam was first proposed in 1919 by nationalist leader Sun Yat-Sen but its construction didn’t begin until much later in 1994. It took over 10 years to build, and when it’s full it holds a gargantuan 42 billion tons of water – so heavy that it actually slows the Earth’s rotation by 0.06 of a microsecond. It is 7661 feet long, almost 600 feet tall and cost between an estimated $25-37 billion dollars to build. The dam is so massive that it created its own microclimate and is measured to weigh approximately 20.8 billion pounds.
3. The Great Pyramid of Giza (or Khufu) – 12 Billion Pounds
The largest of the ancient pyramids, the Great Pyramid of Giza is 12 billion pounds and comprised of over 2 million stone blocks. Originally thought to be built by slaves, experts now think it was actually a team of skilled laborers supplemented with a larger workforce. It was constructed between 2566 BCE and 2540 BCE and contains the tomb of Khufu in the center, surrounded by additional tombs containing his wives. It is the only remaining (and oldest) Ancient Wonder of the World.
4. The Palace of Parliament – 9 Billion Pounds
The world’s heaviest building, the palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania is nothing short of a masterpiece. It was built with 700 000 tons of steel and bronze, 1 million cubic metres of breathtaking marble, and 3500 tons of glass orchestrated into dazzling chandeliers. It has 900 000 cubic metres of various types of wood interspersed throughout the ornate flooring. It was originally built to house the entire government, but the notion turned into it housing the Parliament, the Romanian Senate, the Presidential Office, and a museum, while 30 percent of it remains unused.
5. The Washington Monument – 162.2 Million Pounds
Completed in 1885 in Washington, DC, the Washington Monument weighs a hefty 162.2 million pounds. It was erected in tribute to George Washington and at 555 feet tall, it was briefly the tallest building in the world until the construction of the Eiffel Tower in 1887. It is crafted from a mixture of marble, granite, and sandstone and if you make it up the 897 stairs to the top you can expect to see out over 30 miles.
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