Largest Things Of Their Kind Ever Made

These are the largest things of their kind ever made!

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It’s human nature to push the limits of what’s possible, and nowhere is that seen more clearly than in the world of construction and engineering. Mesmerizing manmade structures and creations come in all sorts of shapes, and you know it’s size that’s everything! Whether it’s sky-high statues, enormous engines or even supersized ships, let's explore some of the largest things of their kind ever made!

Statue Of Unity: Tallest Statue In The World

The Statue of Liberty may be the most recognizable and most visited statue in the world, but it’s not the biggest! In the state of Gujarat, in Western India, stands a statue almost three times the size of lady liberty. The Statue of Unity, as it’s known, is dedicated to Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Deputy Prime Minister of independent India.

Patel was responsible for merging the 562 states of the country to create the Republic of India, a mammoth task, but nothing compared to creating the humungous homage to him! In all, over 3,000 workers and 250 engineers spent a backbreaking 40 months constructing the great man’s likeness out of a steel frame and bronze cladding!

Statue of Unity Largest Statue in the World

But it was all worth it in the end! By the time they’d finished, the mega monument was officially recognized as the world’s tallest statue! But how tall is it exactly? In all, it measures close to 600 feet high, and including the base, the entire structure reaches a jaw dropping 790 feet.

For context, the world’s second largest statue, the Spring Temple Buddha, is over 100 feet smaller than that bronze beast. Unsurprisingly, a huge amount of material goes into making something so sizeable.

In total, 70,000 tons of cement and 25,000 tons of steel went into building the structure. For comparison, that’s well over double the concrete and 200 times the amount of steel that went into building the Statue of Liberty!

But size isn’t the only thing that wonder has to offer. Within the bust of Patel is a 450 foot high observation deck, along with a museum dedicated to the man himself. The statue can even be lit up by laser projections! Forget the Statue of Liberty, Gujarat is the place to go to see the tallest and coolest statue in the world!

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Makkah Clock Royal Tower: Largest Clock Tower

The Makkah Clock Royal Tower is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and it's the largest clock tower in the world! It's part of the Abraj Al Bait, a complex of seven skyscraper hotels, with the elevated clock tower being the tallest and most impressive of them all. An insane 1,972 feet tall to be exact.

Makkah Clock Royal Tower in Abraj-al-Bait Towers

That makes the Makkah Clock Royal Tower over double the height of Tokyo’s NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building, home of the world’s next tallest clock tower. The timekeeper is so tall, that it’s almost seven times the height of London’s famous Big Ben!

You might be wondering how anyone can make out the time from such a distance? Well, alongside its height, that superstructure also holds the record for the world’s largest clock face! With a diameter of 187 feet, and hands that are 55 and 72 feet long, each of the four faces can be seen from a staggering 16 miles away!

In case you want to check the time at night, 2 million green and white LEDs ensure the faces are always visible.

Makkah Clock Royal Tower at Night

Orbit Tower: World's Longest Tunnel Slide

While not quite as tall as the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, the Orbit Tower holds a sizeable record of its own. Back in 2012, it was built to commemorate the London Olympic Games. Made of 35,000 bolts and enough steel to make 265 double decker buses, that spiraling structure juts 374 ft into the skyline.

Orbit Tower or ArcelorMittal Orbit in London

Although it’s not the structure itself that’s earned it a spot in this article. For four years following the games, the Orbit Tower didn’t do much more than remain empty on East London’s skyline. But that all changed in 2016, when the structure was repurposed as a slide!

That isn’t any old playground slide, though. At 584 feet long and 250 feet tall, that became the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide. The swirling slide loops its way through the Orbit Tower 12 times, taking anyone brave enough through daring drops and a devilish corkscrew formation. And that’s while you soar downwards at 15 miles per hour!

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Even at that speed, riders must slide down for a stomach churning 40 seconds before they hit the bottom! Whatever you may think of it, constructing that super spiral didn’t come cheap. Repurposing the structure cost some £3.5 million, roughly $4.5 million!

World's Tallest Wind Turbine In Østerild

From far away, wind turbines dotted on hillsides or standing out at sea constantly spinning away didn’t seem all that huge. But, surprisingly, the average wind turbine is some 280 feet tall, making them close to the height of the Statue of Liberty!

Quite intimidating and yet, it’s nothing compared to one particular wind turbine in Østerild, Denmark. Reaching a neck breaking 919 feet, the Vestas V236 is the world’s tallest wind turbine.

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For reference, that giant is almost as tall as New York City’s Chrysler Building! The hub of that thing alone is so huge that several people can stand quite comfortably inside the circular blade ports, and the blades of that thing each measure 380 foot long, so just one of them is longer than a standard football field!

In case you didn’t know, wind turbines operate from wind energy which turns the blades around a rotor. The rotor then spins a generator to create electricity. Unsurprisingly, being such a mega machine, the Vestas V236 can produce a lot of energy, roughly 80 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. That’s more than 13 times the amount of an average sized wind turbine.

Crazy Horse Memorial: Largest Mountain Carving

When it comes to mountain monuments, a lot of people, mainly Americans, presume Mount Rushmore takes the title for largest sculpture ever carved into the rock. But just 17 miles down the road from the huge heads of American presidents Jefferson, Roosevelt, Washington and Lincoln, is an even bigger mountain carving.

In the Black Hills, in South Dakota, is Crazy Horse Memorial. That monument is dedicated to Crazy Horse, a revered Native American war leader from the 19th century. Currently, only the face of Crazy Horse is complete, but at a staggering 87 feet high, it’s almost 30 feet higher than each of the president heads on Mount Rushmore.

crazy horse memorial

But the magnitude of that mountain marvel doesn’t end there because the project isn’t yet finished. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski began work on the carving back in 1948 and worked alone for years to mold the mountain. That was until 1982, when sadly, he passed away. Since then, his family have taken over, and in 1998 they finally completed Crazy Horse’s head.

However, those working on the memorial have discovered cracks in the underlying rocks, forcing them to deviate from the original plan. Still, it’ll be worth the wait. When the carving’s finally finished, the monument will display Crazy Horse riding atop a stallion with his arm pointing forward.

crazy horse planned sculpture

In total, the sculpture’s final form is set to be 563 feet high and 641 feet long. For reference, it’ll be taller than the Washington Monument, and almost 10 times the height of the faces carved into Mount Rushmore! And, there’s no way anyone can afford to miss out on seeing the colossal Crazy Horse Memorial when it’s finally finished.

The Kelpies: World's Largest Horse Sculptures

In the cooler climates of Falkirk, Scotland, you won’t come across the Crazy Horse Memorial, but you will find a crazy horse memorial, two to be exact. The Kelpies, as they’re known, are the world’s largest horse sculptures. They each measure around 98 feet high and weigh 330 tons! That makes The Kelpies around 20 times the height, and 600 times the weight of an average adult horse!

The Kelpies World’s Largest Horse Sculptures in Scotland

The sculptures were completed in 2013 and took just 3 months to be constructed! That sounds especially quick considering the horses are made up of a 30,000 individual pieces, designed to fit together like a giant jigsaw, including 990 stainless steel panels.

It may seem strange to have a couple of horse heads poking out from the ground, especially when they set Scotland back over £5 million, or roughly $6 million. But the construction of The Kelpies is for a good reason. Those soaring structures pay tribute to the important role Clydesdale, horses played in pulling barges of iron ore and coal from Falkirk to the bustling industrial hearts of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge: Longest Bridge In The World

In China’s eastern province of Jiangsu, there is a feat of engineering so big that, you literally can’t see all of it at once. The furthest distance to the horizon that the human eye can see is 3.1 miles, thanks to the curvature of the earth, which means that at any given time, you can only see about 3% of the entire structure.

And to make things even crazier, it’s a bridge! It’s the Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge to be precise, although it’s technically a viaduct, running parallel to the Yangtze River. It stretches from Danyang to Kunshan in eastern China. Its function is to transport commuters along the Beijing Shanghai High Speed Railway, one of the busiest railways in the world, used by over 210 million passengers every single year.

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Calling that bridge large would be an understatement, though. In total, the Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge is a gigantic 102 miles long. However, only 5 ½ miles of that crosses the water.

Still, it maintains an average height of 100 ft along the entire length of it, and was a mammoth undertaking to construct; it took 4 years, more than 10,000 people, and resources that reached a bank breaking $8.5 billion to complete. That is enough to build the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, more than 5 times over!

But that isn’t just the biggest, or most expensive, bridge in the world; it’s also the most badass. Thanks to its super sturdy foundations, that crossing is capable of withstanding typhoons, magnitude 8 earthquakes, and even a direct hit from a 300,000 ton naval vessel. They were not playing around when they built that bridge!

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Great Wall Of China: The Longest Wall And Fortification

China may have a record breaking bridge, but it’s more famous for its walls, the Great Wall of China, to be specific. Obviously, being a Great Wall, that thing is famous for being ludicrously long, but not everyone is aware of just how mind bogglingly massive it really is.

The Ming Great Wall, that is the best preserved section, contains an artificial wall that extends for some 3,889 miles. That’s 1000 miles longer than the entire width of the USA. But what many people don’t know is that The Great Wall is actually made up of multiple walls, which have a combined total length of some 13,000 miles!

great wall of china

That makes it 30 times longer than the Israeli West Bank barrier, the 2nd longest wall in the world. If for whatever reason, you were to walk every section of the Great Wall, it’d take a grueling 5,300 hours, or 220 days! Clearly building such an awesome feat of engineering doesn’t happen overnight.

The beginning of the Great Wall of China can be traced back to the 4th century BC, when individual kingdoms were looking to protect themselves from each other, and so created a series of walls fending off enemies approaching from different directions. However, much of the Great Wall that still exists today was constructed during the Ming Dynasty, between the 14th and 17th centuries.

So, many of those separate and formidable fortifications were built up over a 2,000 year time period! Due to the wide timescale of the wall’s assembly, its price tag is hard to accurately estimate. The same can’t be said for the human cost, however. It’s believed as many as 400,000 workers passed away during the wall’s construction.

Workers Died During Great Wall of China Construction

There are even rumors that many of the deceased are buried within the wall itself. So not only would it take half a year to walk the length of that wall, you’d also be treading on what could be the world’s longest burial ground!

Jatayu Statue: World's Largest Bird Sculpture

China isn’t the only country that’s been hellbent on creating more than one supersized structure, as it looks like India wasn’t satisfied with just the Statue of Unity. In the forests of Kerala, in southern India, lies something so huge, that onlookers have to double take.

In the Jatayu Nature Park, you’ll find a stupendously sized sculpture of an eagle. Rising up from the ground and 200 foot long, 150 foot wide, and 70 foot tall.

Eagle Sculpture in Jatayu Nature Park, Kerala

For some perspective on just how big this thing is, check out the scary size of its talons compared to one of the construction workers!

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Work on that massive concrete made monument took six years, which may seem like a long time, but that thing isn’t just a sculpture. Within the interior of Jatayu is a museum, a 6D theatre, and even an observation deck located in the bird’s eyes.

According to Hindu legend, Jatayu the eagle witnessed the princess Sita being kidnapped by the demon king Ravana. When Jatayu tried to stop Ravana, he chopped off one of the bird's wings.

Although defeated, the fearless fowl was able to inform Lord Rama about Sita’s abduction and where Ravana had taken her. So the sculpture isn’t only the biggest bird statue in the world, it also represents the legend of Jatayu, and tributes the safety and honor of women.

Gotthard Base Tunnel: Longest Tunnel In The World

The Swiss Alps are a place of pristine natural beauty, but between the monumental mountains and green valleys, you’ll find a manmade structure that’s the largest of its kind. However, if you look at the mountains you can't see it, that’s because it’s inside the mountain!

Officially known as the Gotthard Base Tunnel, that railway tunnel extends some 35 miles through the Alps, increasing transport through the Alpine barrier. Such a stretch makes that underpass the world’s longest railway tunnel by almost 2 miles!

Gotthard Base Tunnel in Swiss Alps

Construction on that began in 1999, taking 2,500 workers a punishing 17 years to finally complete. But creating a tunnel that’s not only huge, but also cuts through a literal mountain required a herculean effort!

The Gotthard Base Tunnel was primarily constructed with four massive tunnel boring machines. Four of those 1,400 foot long machines chiseled away at the mountain. The machines were locked on place with gripper pads , before hydraulic arms pushed a 30 foot diameter cutterhead into the rock. Not only was the work hard and long, but it was also dangerous.

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The unpredictable quality of the rock, and extreme temperatures, reaching up to 115°F, made boring the tunnel out difficult, to say the least! Fortunately, in 2016, the world’s longest railway tunnel was finally complete.

By the time it’d finished, that $12 billion project had excavated over 31 million tons of rock from the Alps. For context, that’s over 60 times the weight of the previously mentioned Burj Khalifa! It goes without saying the construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel was mountain breaking work.

Seawise Giant: Biggest Ship In The World

Originally built in 1979, the Seawise Giant crude oil tanker underwent a 2 year makeover to become the largest ship in the world. But just how "giant" was that ship? In total, the Seawise Giant stretched over 1,500 feet from bow to stern, meaning if it was positioned upright, it’d have been taller than the Empire State Building!

Seawise Giant Knock Nevis

The Seawise Giant was extended to the point that it became the lengthiest ship to ever grace the seas, eclipsing the superlong Battilus, class supertankers by almost 150 feet. To demonstrate how monumental that vast vessel was, its rudder alone weighed in at 230 tons, equivalent to around 40 adult African elephants.

Unsurprisingly, that thing could carry some weight; 620,000 tons of it to be exact. That meant around 4.1 million barrels of crude oil could be kept on board ! A crude oil tanker that went by the similar name of Sea Giant was also true colossus! But big as she was, even that vessel was around 150 feet shorter, and carried 60,000 tons less than the Seawise Giant!

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But the supersize of that ship didn’t make it indestructible. In 1988, during the Iran and Iraq War, while carrying Iranian oil, the vessel was bombed by Iraqi forces. Fire and destruction spread through the ship, and it sank in the shallow waters off the Iranian coast. But the Seawise wasn’t finished there.

After the war ended, a Norwegian consortium retrieved, repaired and renamed the ship, calling her Happy Giant. But the cheerful times wouldn’t last. By the 21st century the ship was too large for its own good. She wasn’t a practical vessel for transporting oil anymore, and the economic burden of powering such a ship meant the gargantuan tanker operated at a loss.

In 2010 the ship was sent for scrapping. And in true Seawise Giant style, even the dismantling job displayed the ship’s sheer size. Astonishingly, it took 18,000 workers a whole year to scrap the vessel, and with that, went the world’s largest ship.

Wärtsilä RT-flex96C: Largest Engine In The World

Engines power some of the world’s most vital machines. To be precise, ships, like super tankers and cruise ships. They don’t run on a bunch of regular sized car engines instead, they require massive engines like the MAN 48/60 engine, once the largest diesel engine produced in America.

MAN 48/60 Engine Largest Diesel Engine in America

At their biggest, they weigh close to 240 tons, making them roughly 1200 times heavier than a standard diesel car engine. And while that is pretty big, it's still not the biggest engine out there.

Stretching to 1,300 feet long, the Emma Mærsk, is a large container ship that’s close to rivaling the Seawise Giant for size! And powering the Emma Mærsk is the Wärtsilä Sulzer RT-flex96c. That mammoth sized mechanism goes down as the largest diesel engine on the planet!

Wärtsilä RT-flex96C transportation

Standing at 44 feet tall, and 90 feet long, that engine is larger than a four story building! On top of that, it weighs in at over 2,500 tons, making it 10 times heavier than the MAN 48/60!

The question is, how do diesel engines like those power ships? The diesel engines burn fuel in a combustion chamber. That burning process creates high pressure, pushing the cylinders inside the engine. The movement of those cylinders, and the pistons inside them, is converted into rotary motion, which turns the ship's propeller, moving it forward in the water.

How Diesel Engines Power Ships

Fortunately for the RT-flex96c, it’s not only the largest diesel engine in the world, but also the most powerful. The enormous engine gives its ships an impressive power output of 107,000 horsepower. Compared to the world’s current most powerful unmodified production car, the Lotus Evija, the RT-flex96c has over 50 times more horsepower!

Airlander 10: Largest Aircraft In The World

When it comes to crowning the biggest aircraft, you might think of planes with big wings, jets with big engines, helicopters with big blades. However, hybrid airship tend to be much bigger! Stretching to some 302 feet long, the Airlander 10, created by British company Hybrid Air Vehicles, is well over the length of 3 adult blue whales!

Airlander 10 by Hybrid Air Vehicles

Even the Antonov An-225, the heaviest and most powerful plane ever built, is 25 feet shorter than the astronomical Airlander 10. Yet, Hybrid Air Vehicles weren’t satisfied with that. In 2020, updates were made to expand the air vehicle by an extra 5%, making it a monstrous 320 feet long beast.

On top of its long length, the Airlander 10 has 2,100 square feet of internal space, which is over double the amount in standard commercial aircraft, like the Boeing 737. The question is how can an air vehicle with such a bulky build stay air bound?

Well, the Airlander 10 is a hybrid aircraft. That means it derives 40% of its lift through aerodynamics, like an airplane, and the remainder from the buoyant lift from helium found in the hull, like standard airships. The lifting gas offsets the weight of the aircraft meaning less energy is required to keep it aloft. So, even when carrying an 11 ton payload, that big boy can fly for 5 whole days!

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Bagger 288 and Bagger 293: World's Largest Excavators

If you were to guess what the largest land vehicle in the world is, you might think of some sort of massive dump truck or maybe a towering tractor. But it turns out the actual answer is a bucket wheel excavator!

Despite the chainsaw-like wheel, the only thing excavator cuts through is the earth, as bucket wheel excavators that large usually make up part of a continuous mining system. As the wheel at the front of the machine turns, the large buckets attached to it rotate and scoop up earth before dropping it onto a conveyor belt, which is then transferred onto dump trucks to be removed.

And one of the biggest bucket wheel excavators of them all is the Bagger 288. When built by German company Krupp back in 1978, that behemoth became the heaviest vehicle in the world.

Bagger 288 by German Company Krupp

In all, it weighed in at a staggering 13,500 tons. On top of that, it measured 720 feet long, and reached 315 feet tall. For comparison, that’s about 20 times as long, and 30 times as tall as a standard school bus. The blade alone has a diameter of 70 feet!

But even more terrifying is the Bagger 293. German company, TAKRAF created the Bagger 293 in 1995. Weighing in at an unreal 16,000 tons, the Bagger 293 is close to double the weight of the Eiffel Tower! Plus, that thing reaches 740 feet long and is 320 feet tall, slightly edging out its older sibling for top spot as the world’s biggest land vehicle.

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Given its supersize, it’s not a shock that, that thing could do its fair share of digging. The Bagger 293 is capable of moving close to 250,000 tons of soil every day, equivalent to the work of 40,000 miners! Considering the outrageous size of that thing, getting a glimpse of the Bagger 293 in person should be on everyone’s bucket list.

I hope you were amazed at the largest things of their kind ever made! Thanks for reading!

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