Ever since man invented fire and the wheel, all of mankind has been achieving bigger and bigger feats of engineering. What seemed impossible yesterday is reality today and the dreams of today pave our way to the future. Here are the top 10 examples of engineering marvels achieved by mankind.
10. New York Subway
With a length of 700 miles, the New York subway system is the fourth largest in the world. It is also one of the busiest stations with 24 hours operation and has a total of 6500 cars. The subway system is one of the world’s oldest public transit systems and has a total of 468 operating stations currently.
9. Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a cut through the neck that connects North and South America. It greatly reduces the time required by cargo ships to reach their destinations by eliminating the need to go around South America. The canal was started in 1884 by France but digging was stopped due to engineering issues and an epidemic. The US started digging in 1904 and took ten years to complete the canal.
8. Dubai Canal
The Dubai Canal was expected to be complete in 2012, but due to financial difficulties the project was put on hold. With a width of 150 meters and a depth of 6 meters, the $11 billion canal will be suitable for the small ships and yachts. The city to be built around the canal is estimated to cost an additional $50 billion.
7. Boston’s Big Dig
Officially called the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, this project had many goals, one of which was to re-route and build main road arteries and tunnels. The Big Dig project was started in 1991 and completed in 2006. The chief aim of the project was to re-route the chief highway (Interstate 93) into a 3.5-mile tunnel.
6. Three Gorges Dam
This giant wall cuts the Yangtze River near the town of Sandouping, Hubei province, China. It is currently the world’s largest power station, producing about 22,500 MW per year. The facility also prevents flooding in areas that are located downstream. Construction of the dam caused flooding of important archaeological areas and the displacement of 1.3 million people.
5. The World Islands
Located 4 km from the coast of Dubai, this archipelago is made of artificial islands made to resemble a map of the world. The size of each island varies from 14,000 to 42,000 square meters. 321 million cubic meters of sand and 386 million tons of rock were required to complete this massive project.
This railway tunnel is being constructed to connect the European and Asian coasts. On October 29, 2013 the first section with four stations was officially opened to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey.
3. International Space Station
This is a massive work of engineering and the largest man-made creation in orbit around the Earth. The station consists of habitable science modules and has external trusses. Solar panels provide power to the space station. The ISS was first started by the merger between the Russian Mir-2 and the American Freedom space stations. The space station is constantly growing with the addition of new modules and at times is visible from the surface of Earth by the naked eye.
2. Havvada Island
The island is proposed to be created near the Turkish coast. The artificial island will be made up of 6 geodesic domes and be able to house 300,000 inhabitants. The self-sustaining island located off the coast of Istanbul is in the concept phase but the project will be massive when started.
1. Future Cities Concepts
This is not a single project, but many engineers and scientists are working on ideas of complete cities made for the future. Havvada Island is a part of this dream while other ideas include space colonies, cities in the sky and even one which involves a single enormous, self-sustaining building that contains a whole city inside.