The first account of our fascination with building tall buildings starts with the 146-meter tall pyramid of Giza. After thousands of years, it was finally taken over by the Lincoln Cathedral. Then began a cut throat race that is continuing until now, from the New York City’s 282.5-meter Bank of Manhattan in 1930 to the 319-meter Chrysler Building just a few months later and the 381-meter Empire State Building in 1931.
Since then we have seen scores of architectural masterpieces, the 2003 509-meter Taipei 101 overcame the 452-meter Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur which were blown away by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai 2010 standing at 828 meters. Constructors in China came in as party poppers and went 10 meters higher in 2012 with a 220-story pre-fab tower constructed in a baffling 90 days. And we are sure that this rat race will continue till the end of time.
But the real question is, how high can we get? Discrediting the fact that it depends on how much weed you have, we’ll sadly only talk about buildings here. One major obstacle that comes in the way of building an infinitely high structure is the strength of the materials since the higher we go, the more weight the base has to bear.
But hypothetically, if we do manage to build a structure with strong enough materials, for example by using carbon nanotubes, we could build a structure that’s nearly 21,747 miles (350,000 km) high! That is if we can make the structure pass the geostationary orbit where part of the structure will undergo no pull from the gravity but rather a tension from the vacuum, thus stabilizing the building! Of course, there will be other challenges such as avoiding the space debris.
But this “crazy” idea has been under the contention for many years as a concept for a space elevator that can hugely cut costs of sending materials to space.
So in essence, the higher you get, the easier everything becomes! Sounds like a universal platitude, whether you’re on Earth or above it!
Watch the video below to learn more awesome facts about all things high!