20+ of the Biggest Machines in the World
So you're looking for the world's biggest machines eh? Then look no further. The following are a combination of scientific apparatus, construction, and mining vehicles, and some interesting novelties for your entertainment.
We'll not mess around and just get stuck in. Enjoy.
The following are in no particular order and it is far from exhaustive.
1. The Large Hadron Collider is enormous
The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest machine man has ever built to date. It was built to study the tiniest of things, subatomic particles.
This particle accelerator is 27 kilometers in circumference and is buried 175 meters under the ground near Geneva. Switzerland. There are plans for a newer upgraded one that will be four times bigger.
2. The Giant Bucket Wheel Excavator tears the ground to shreds
The world's second-largest machine is the mighty Giant Bucket Wheel Excavator, Bagger 293. This is a titan amongst giants. It was built in Germany in 1995.
The whole thing stands at 96 meters tall and is 225 meters long. It also weighs in at an astonishing 14,061 tonnes.
3. Big Bertha makes boring child's play
Bertha is the world's biggest tunnel boring machine. She dwarfs any of her competitors with a total length of 300 feet and five stories high.
She is a massive 7,000-ton machine that needs to be shipped between work sites. Her 17.5-meter diameter could easily swallow the world's second-largest borer.
4. "The Prelude": officially the world's biggest ship
The arrival of "The Prelude" has forced "Emma Maersk" into second place for the biggest ship. She took to the water for the first time in South Korea. "The Prelude" isn't technically a ship per se, but rather a floating natural gas facility.
She is 487 meters long and "The Prelude" would be 45 meters taller than the Empire State Building if laid side by side. When fully laden she weighs in at 600,000 tons.
5. This might just be the world's biggest motorbike
It even features some very extended handles and a 5,000 cc 5.7 liter V8 Chevrolet engine with a 3-speed transmission. Nice.
6. The World's biggest remote-controlled robot is a dragon, apparently
Oh hell yeah, now we're talking. Germany’s Zollner Elektronik AG spent six years with a 15-man team to design the biggest remote controller robot ever.
The dragon was designed to replace the mechanical star of Germany’s favorite play, “Drachenstich”. It stands at 4.5 meters, weighs 11 tons and actually breathes fire.
7. Meet the world's largest aircraft, The Stratolaunch
The Stratolaunch was revealed by Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen before his untimely death in 2018. This monster has a wingspan of 117 meters and weighs in at 580 tons.
She needs a total of six engines to get off the ground. She has been designed to launch rockets into space from the air, hence the name. What a beauty.
8. Dump in style with The Belaz 75710
Oh yes. This entry on our list of biggest machines is a real monster. Powered by a hybrid-diesel engine, The Belaz 75710 was built for one task only - moving a lot of earth and rubble.
Its two sixteen-cylinder engines provide the beast with 13,738 pounds of torque. That's more than the combined power of seventeen heavy-duty pickup trucks. Wow.
9. The Overburden Conveyor Bridge F60 does not mess around
This monster is the world's biggest conveyor bridge. Her entire structure is something to behold measuring in at 502 meters long, 202 meters wide and 80 meters in height. It weighs in at about 11,000 tons.
This beast was built in East Germany in 1991 by VEB TAKRAF Lauchhammer.
10. FAST is the world's biggest telescope
FAST or Five Hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope is a radio telescope that can be found in China. She is a radio telescope located in the Dawodang depression in Pingtung County in SW China.
11. This might just be the world's largest floating vacuum cleaner
The Queen of the Netherlands is a hopper dredging ship that was built in 1998. She has a gross tonnage of 33,423 tonnes and a deadweight of almost 60,000 tonnes.
She measures in at 230.71 meters long by 32 meters wide. You can even track where she is in the world here.
12. "La Princesse" is an arachnophobe's worst nightmare
La Princesse is a giant mechanical spider that weighs in at 37 tonnes. She stands in at 15 meters and moves using 50 axes of hydraulic movement. This monster takes twelve people to operate her.
To move from place to place she needs 16 cranes, 8 cherry pickers, and a 250-man crew.
13. The Komatsu D575A Superdozer certainly is super
The Komatsu D575A-3SD super dozer is the world’s biggest and most powerful production bulldozer. She is manufactured by Komatsu in Ishikawa, Japan. This monster is mostly active in North America and Australia.
She is 5 meters tall, 14.5 meters long and 7 meters wide.
14. The Le Tourneau L-2350 moves earth like it's nobody's business
The P&H LeTourneau L-2350 Loader is the current world record holder for the biggest earth mover. It has a massive lifting payload of 72 tons.
This massive machine has a standard bucket of 40.52 cubic meters and a 2300 horsepower engine.
15. This is one of the world's most massive mining excavators
The Liebherr 9800 Mining Excavator is one of the world's largest bucket excavators. They typically weigh in at 810 tonnes and have a bucket capacity of 47 cubic meters.
What a beast.
16. The NASA crawler-transporter was built to move entire rockets
Although around 50 years old, this entry on our list of the biggest machines is still impressive. These enormous 40 meters long, 35 meters wide machines weigh in at around 2720 tonnes.
They were used to carry NASA rockets from site to site at a breathtaking 1 mph. One of the two existing crawlers has actually clocked up a total of 2,207 miles.
17. The Taisun Cranes are true monster machines
Another gargantuan entry on our list of biggest machines is a monster. When building big machines you'll inevitably need something equally big to help you move bits of it around. The Taisun Cranes at the Yantai Raffles Shipyard in China might just be fit for purpose.
This is widely regarded as the most powerful crane in the world. It boasts a payload of over 20,000 tonnes.
18. The Antonov An-225 "Mriya" rules the skies
The Antonov An-225 "Mriya" is yet another of the world's biggest planes. Powered by 6 enormous turbofan engines, this plane is officially the biggest operational cargo plane.
She has a wingspan of 88.4 meters and is 84 meters in length. It weighs around 285,000 kg when empty and was first debuted in 1988. Each of her Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan engines, each capable of pumping out over 23 thousand kg of thrust -- quite impressive.
These were selected for their high takeoff thrust, low specific fuel consumption, and impressive reliability. The Antonov-255 requires no less than 32 wheels to carry her weight on the ground and can, amazingly, turn within a 60-meter-wide runway.
It was developed by the Soviets as a super heavy transporter to replace their aging Myasishchev VM-T. It was codenamed "Cossack" by NATO forces during the cold war.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the "Mriya" was purchased by the Ukrainian company Antonov Airlines who has used it as a transporter ever since.
19. The Bagger 288: the Bagger 293's not so little brother
The Bagger 288 is another absolutely enormous machine. It was built by the German company Krupp and is largely used by the energy and mining firm Rheinbraun.
The Bagger 288 is a bucket-wheel excavator primarily designed for use as a mobile strip mining machine. Construction of the machine began in 1978 and she superseded the Big Muskie as the heaviest lad vehicle on the planet at 13,500 tons.
Design and construction took around 10 years and cost somewhere in the region of $100 million. Bagger 288 is 225 meters long, 46 meters wide, and 96 meters tall.
She is propelled by 12 enormous caterpillar tracks and can travel up to 10 meters per minute. Bagger 288 was herself superseded by the larger and heavier Bagger 293 and NASA Crawler-Transporter.
20. The Seawise Giant lived up to its name
The "Seawise Giant" is also one of the world's biggest existing machines. Also known as the "Happy giant", "Jahre Viking", "Knock Nevis", "Oppama" and "Mont", this was once the world's longest ship ever conceived and built.
She was originally built by Sumitomo Heavy Industries in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan, and once possessed the greatest deadweight tonnage ever recorded. Fully loaded, the ship would displace somewhere in the order of 657,000 tonnes and she was so large that she was not able to navigate certain waterways like the English Channel, the Suez Canal, and the Panama Canal.
The ship was badly damaged during the Iran-Iraq war but was later salvaged and restored back into active service. "Seawise Giant" was later converted to floating storage and offloading unit (FSO) in 2004. After being sold to Indian shipbreakers in 2009, she was renamed "Mont" for her final journey where she was beached ready for scrapping.
21. The Schwerer Gustav was one of the biggest guns ever conceived
And finally, the Schwerer Gustav was also one of the world's biggest machines of all time. It was so big that is needed to be mounted on a railcar and was developed by the Third Reich during the Second World War.
It was first conceived just prior to the war and was ordered as part of the buildup towards the invasion of France. The idea was to use the enormous cannon to help break the back of the formidable Maginot Line that the French had built to prevent German invasions after WW1.
Each of the Schwerer Gustav's shells was 800 mm in diameter. The gun itself weighed somewhere in the order of 1,350 tonnes and each shell weighed 4.8 tonnes.
The gun was so powerful that it could fire each of its enormous projectiles over 47 km with a muzzle velocity of something like 820 meters per second.
After significant investment in time and resources, this formidable artillery piece would have very little impact on the outcome of the war. It was destroyed just prior to the end of the war to prevent capture by Allied forces.
So there you go, some of the Biggest Machines in the world, as requested. There are some real monsters in this list, we think you'll agree.
From the construction industry to mining to strange street entertainment, we've covered them all, more or less. Have we missed any out? We'd be very happy to hear your suggestions.
Ashok Thamarakshan built an aircraft in his backyard to take his family around the world. The G-Diya is currently on her way to scale heights.