5 Greatest Engineering Feats in Human History

by Darren Spicer

cc licensed flickr photo shared by wirralwater

Humankind has performed some amazing feats in the course of history. It has conquered mountains, seas, and begun the exploration of space. The face of the planet bares the evidence of some of man's greatest achievements; feats of engineering and ingenuity that are so great that some have withstood the test of millennia, and still stand today.

All of the contenders are amazing for different reasons, and narrowing it down was difficult, however is a list of what are generally agreed to be 5 of the greatest engineering feats in human history.

The Panama Canal

This mammoth feat of engineering was begun by France in the 1880s, taken over by the U.S. nearly 24 years later, and finally finished in 1924. It is a 51 mile long, man-made canal that made sea travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans possible. The canal was created by splitting a mountain in half and constructing a series of lakes and locks to enable ships to pass from one ocean to another without sailing around the tip of South America.

It was built at a cost of over $600 million dollars and more than 25,000 human lives, and continues to be ones of the world's busiest waterways.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is so great, it is the only wonder that can be viewed from space. Built over a period of 1700 years, it covers a total distance of approximately 5,500 miles across mountain ranges and forests. It was built in sections across more than 20 provinces, each adding their own part, as a means of repelling the Mongol hordes.

It is more than just a wall; it is a wide roadway consisting of lookout posts and forts. The tallest section is estimated to be 6,562 feet high, parts of which are accessible by only by cable car.

The Central Railroad of Peru

This railroad took more than 50 years to build. It is more than 1,000 miles long and consists of 41 bridges and 60 hand-carved tunnels. Until recently was the highest railroad in the world, reaching heights of more than 15,825 feet at some points. The Central Railroad tunnels through mountains, over gorges and valleys, and has twists and turns that would rival some of the most thrilling roller-coasters.

The International Space Station

At 43,000 cubic feet of interior space, the International Space Station is the largest man-made object ever put into orbit, and floats about 220 miles above us. One research facility alone is larger than the length of 3 schools buses.

The International Space Station is the result of the collaboration of 15 different countries, and has a semi-permanent international crew of 6 astronauts who live and work there. The entire structure was built out of hundreds of parts and completely assembled in space at a total cost of $96 billion dollars.

The Hoover Dam

The Hoover dam is the largest reservoir in the world. Built over 4 years during the Great Depression, its purpose was to generate electricity and facilitate agricultural development in the Nevada desert. The Dam is 726 feet tall, and it used nearly 3 million cubic meters of concrete and more brick and mortar than the Giza Pyramid to build. It pumps out 300,000 gallons of water per second when open, and provides electricity to the states of California, Nevada, and Arizona.

It took the combined efforts of 6 different corporations to get it built, and the total construction cost was $49 million dollars. It employed 16,000 people in during its construction.

This post was written by Darren Spicer

Darren Spicer is an electrical engineer and guest author at www.bestonlineengineeringdegree.com, a site with guides and information about top online engineering degree programs.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

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