Man has achieved some great feats in the area of construction through the ages. Evolving technologies inspire bigger ideas from those who dream. As long as the world has dreamers
10. Hadrian’s Wall
In 112 AD, the Emperor Hadrian built a wall that ran 117.5 kilometers between the North Sea and the Irish Sea. The purpose of this undertaking is not entirely clear but it appears that there was a number of contributing factors ranging from a need for increased defense and border controls to perhaps even being a show of might. There were fortified gateways placed every Roman mile. In between the gateways were intervals of turrets. The wall was mostly constructed of limestone and took workers nearly 6 years to complete.
9. Delaware Aqueduct
There are many long aqueducts and water tunnels but the Delaware Aqueduct is the longest of them all. Measuring in at 137 kilometers long, the Delaware Aqueduct is one of the Top 10 Longest Man Made Structures. This aqueduct feeds New York City about 1.3 billion gallons of water each day. In the early 1990s, it was discovered that the aqueduct leaked an incredible 36 million gallons per day. Measures have since been taken to repair the massive leaks.
8. Suez Canal
Although not considered a structure the Suez Canal fits into the structure category because it was artificially built and hence a ‘structure’ by definition. The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and has been a heavily used waterway since it was completed in 1869. The main benefit of the Suez Canal is that it allows ships that are traveling from Europe to South Asia to avoid having to take the 7,000 kilometer journey around Africa. Instead, transiting vessels only need to navigate the 193 kilometer stretch between Port Said and Port Tewfik. Upon completion, the canal had an immediate impact on world trade and is one of the Top 10 Longest Man Made Structures. The Suez Canal took roughly 10 years to build and was constructed largely by the use of forced labor.
7. Israel – Egypt Barrier
Created primarily to deter illegal migrants, the Israel-Egypt Barrier took was reportedly completed very recently. Constructed mainly of two layers of fencing and barbed wire, the barrier also boasts advanced electronic security and surveillance systems. The 345 kilometer long barrier cost about $450 million US to construct. The first 230 kilometers of the barrier took 3 years to complete. The remaining 15 kilometers took another year and a half to complete due to being built in difficult terrain. Even as it stood incomplete the barrier had reportedly been quite successful at stemming the flow of illegal migrants.
6. Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is the longest canal in the world and its beginnings go all the way back to the 5th century BC, with separate sections being built and combined somewhere around 600 AD. Using a system of “pound locks” allowed for increased and quicker trade and transport of supplies which sparked the Chinese economy. Many parts of the ancient canal are no longer in use, however, the southern portion of it is frequently used today. At 1,776 kilometers in length, the Grand Canal is one of The Top 10 Longest Man Made Structures.
5. The Trans-Siberian Railway
There are several lengthy railway systems in the world but only one can truly be called the longest. The Trans-Siberian Railway connects Moscow with Vladivostok. It was built in response to a need for better accessibility to Siberia. It enabled faster transportation of people and commodities, better trade, and facilitated the migration of millions of people into Siberia from the western parts. It played a vital role in World War II by transporting supplies while also serving as a way for people to flee Europe. At a length, of 9,289 kilometers the Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world and one of the Top 10 Longest Man Made Structures.
4. Pan-American Highway
Like railways, itemizing the world’s longest roads would be a list unto itself. Roads, being man made structures, can stretch for thousands of miles. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the longest “motorable road” is the Pan-American Highway. It is a network of roads that combine to form a 48,000 kilometer route that weaves and winds its way from Alaska to Argentina. Due to the Pan-American Highway passing directly through 17 countries it took an international effort to complete the project.
3. Appian Way 563 km
The Appian Way is one of the Top 10 Longest Man Made Structures. While considered a road it has a special place on this list because this 563 kilometer rock road was built by hand in 312 BC. The Appian Way answered the need for improved movement of military troops and supplies. The road itself is covered with tightly fitting stones that provide a relatively flat surface. The road is cambered in the middle and bordered by ditches allowing effective water runoff. Amazingly, a portion of the Appian Way is open to vehicle traffic today.
2. Dingo Fence 5,614
The Dingo Fence was first built in 1885 with the purpose of keeping dingoes out of the south-eastern part of Australia where sheep farming flourished. The fence, which has a 5 meter clearance zone on either side, is mostly made of wire mesh although some stretches of multi-strand electrified fencing have been integrated. The fence stretches 5,614 kilometers making it the world’s longest fence but it is not completely effective. Holes in the fencing have allowed some dingoes to get through.
1. The Great Wall
Although the Great Wall of China is not one the things that you can see from space with a naked eye it’s the longest man-made structure in the world. Construction of The Great Wall of China began around 2300 years ago and ended in 1644 AD with the last of the Ming Dynasty. Originally built with the prime goal of protecting against invasion, it also served as a means of border control. The entire wall measured 21,196 kilometers long and thus tops the list of The Top 10 Longest Man Made Structure. It features watch towers, fortresses, and other vital military posts. Much of The Great Wall has disappeared over time but its ongoing restoration and protection began in 1957.