Humans have been constructing and building engineering marvels since we were first on this Earth. While many haven't lasted, there are many others that have survived to present day. Some of the most amazing surviving structures across the globe are in danger of being destroyed due to environmental factors. Here are 5 of those engineering marvels that you need to see. . . before it's too late.
[Image Source: Federico Beccari via GoodFreePhotos]
Venice is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is built on 118 tiny islands with engineered waterways throughout. As continents have shifted and water levels have risen across the globe, Venice is in serious danger of getting destroyed. There are currently multibillion-dollar plans to install floodgates, but the efforts may be too little too late. Heavy storms continue to berate the city that was called the most beautiful city in the world in 1495 by French King Charles VIII. The city remains as one of the engineering marvels with the implementations of piers and beams over water construction. If you hope to one day see the city, now may be the time to book a trip.
[Image Source: Asitjain via Wikimedia Commons]
The Taj Mahal may be the most iconic monument in the world, but it too may not be around for much longer. The monument was built after Emperor Shan Jahan's wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died in childbirth in 1631. The white temple features a 187-foot dome with a reflecting pool in the front. The white marble on the monument has been deteriorating heavily for many years. in the 1990s, the Indian government began restoration work. For now, it would appear that the massive wonder is safe, but given it's all stone construction and old age, it could be destroyed from its current state through a number of environmental disasters.
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Easter Island, while not commonly thought of as a feat of engineering, is one nonetheless. 2,000 miles of the coast of South America sits this historic island littered with buried heads – and subsequent bodies attached. Discovered in 1722, historians and archaeologists still are uncertain how the stone heads arrived on the island in the first place. Each head and body average 13 feet tall with a weight of 14 tons. The engineering marvel behind the island is just how these structures were put in place by such an isolated population. Climate change and rising tides have a real possibility of destroying the historic island. If tides were to rise above the statues, it would only take a matter of years for their details to be wiped away.
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Ephesus remained one of the most vibrant metropolises of the ancient world for hundreds of years. The city is located on the current western coast of Turkey, and in its height, 300,000 people lived there. One of the biggest reasons Ephesus has worked its way into modern history is the Temple of Artemis that still remains there today. It is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Today, the temple remains in a state of ruin, but to a degree that has relatively preserved its beauty. Weathering from storms presents a very real threat to the survival of the temple, and it's something you need to see before it becomes a pile of rubble.
[Image Source: Chensiyuan via Wikimedia Creative Commons]
Machu Picchu is one of the engineering marvels that takes some effort to witness. Perched atop the Huayna Picchu Mountain, it looms 1,000 feet above terraces and stonework that curl up from the river below. The ancient city was an agricultural mecha, one completely decided on steep facades of the mountain. Ancient engineers undertook an impressive task as they stabilized the mountain side with stones and soil compaction. They took extra effort to manage irrigation channels in the city, which ultimately served as the royal retreat for the Incan emperor of Pachacuti. Visiting Machu Picchu is actually what might destroy it. Influxes of tourists to the area have destroyed much of the support and stonework and it is now at risk of major destruction. If you want to visit this site, be committed to preserving its wonder.
Written by Trevor English