Top Ranked man made marvels by zankrank (View Consensus)
1. burj khalifa
dubai, united arab emirates, opened the world’s tallest skyscraper in january, 2010, and superlatives have poured in ever since. if you stuck the eiffel tower on top of the empire state building, you still wouldn’t have a structure as tall as the burj khalifa. it rises 2,717 feet from the desert and provides views of the persian gulf, the sail-shaped burj al-arab hotel and the man-made palm jumeirah island. originally named burj dubai, the building was renamed in honor of sheik khalifa bin zayed al nahyan, the ruler of abu dhabi, which pumped tens of billions of dollars into dubai in 2009 as it struggled to pay enormous debts.
2. henderson waves
at 12 stories high, henderson waves is singapore's tallest pedestrian bridge. it snakes across henderson road, connecting mount faber park and telok blangah hill park. the bridge, which opened in 2008, is made of seven undulating curved steel ribs that alternately rise over and under its deck. the curved ribs form alcoves that function as shelters with seats within.
3. palm jumeirah
palm jumeirah is an artificial island, the first and smallest of the three palm islands created off the coast of dubai, united arab emirates. the palm-tree shaped island is so large that it can be seen from the international space station. it is currently home to luxury homes and the megaresort atlantis, the palm, and will eventually tout many other deluxe hotels. in the years since construction began in 2001, this island effectively has doubled the length of dubai’s coastline.
4. grand canyon skywalk
the hualapai tribe of arizona commissioned this horseshoe-shaped, glass walkway that opened above the grand canyon in 2007. the skywalk juts off the rim of a side canyon 4,000 feet above the colorado river. despite the vertigo-inducing views, the glass bridge reportedly is very sturdy — it can support more than 71,000 pounds and can withstand gusts of wind over 100 mph.
5. channel tunnel
the chunnel, as the 31.35-mile tunnel under the english channel is known, opened in 1994, connecting calais, france, with folkestone, england. it is the second-longest tunnel in the world (behind japan’s seikan railway tunnel), and has the longest underwater section of any tunnel. the eurotunnel shuttle is a special vehicle transport train that has the largest rail cars in the world.
6. three gorges dam
located in china’s hubei province, this largest hydroelectric power station in the world contains a 375-mile-long reservoir within its impressive 7,661-foot concrete bulk. the scale of the controversial project is so huge that it has displaced millions of people, submerged hundreds of cultural sites in the three gorges area and precipitated an untold amount of damage on the regional environment. construction began in 1994, but the dam is not expected to become fully operational until 2011.
7. the dreamliner
the boeing 787 dreamliner took off on its long-awaited first flight on dec. 15, 2009. the dreamliner is the first commercial airplane that’s mostly built from carbon-reinforced plastic. this composite material is light and strong and won’t corrode or be susceptible to metal fatigue. using this kind of construction also reduces both the financial and environmental costs of building a new plane. the first dreamliner is expected to be delivered to all nippon airways in late 2010.
8. millau viaduct
the millau viaduct in southern france, which opened in 2004, is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, with a roadway nearly 900 feet in the air. the cable-stayed design gives the bridge the appearance of a row of sailboats at sea, and the masts rise 1,125 feet — higher than the eiffel tower.
9. oasis of the seas
royal caribbean’s oasis of the seas made its debut in 2009 as the world’s largest cruise ship. it’s nearly five times the gross tonnage of the titanic and 1 1/2 times longer than the u.s. capitol building, has 16 decks and a capacity for 6,296 guests. the ship offers weeklong sailings in the eastern and western caribbean. cruises depart from port everglades in fort lauderdale, fla.
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