WATCH: Pour Water Upwards at the Hoover Dam
While you may know it from as an engineering marvel renowned for its massive structure, here is one thing about the hoover dam you may not have considered.
The dam is a massive 726 ft tall supported by a monstrous base that is as thick as two football fields laid end-to-end. Every second, 90,000 gallons of water power through the 30 ft. wide pen stocks. The massive slanted wall, fast cold running water, and intense heat all contribute to an incredibly powerful updraft.
The draft is largely caused by a stack effect due to the extreme temperature differences from the top and bottom of the dam. Hot air blows through the canyon where it reaches the wall and quickly begins to rise towards the much cooler reservoir above. The result is an updraft so strong, water can be poured upward from the top.
Other Interesting Facts About Hoover Dam
Originally, the dam was proposed to take 7 years to build. However, after just 5 years of non-stop construction, the project was completed well ahead of time and well under budget (perhaps an engineering first?).
To clear the area for construction, more than 8.5 million pounds of dynamite was required to blast the foundation and create over 8 miles of tunnels that reach through the canyon walls.
Hundreds of trucks and thousands of workers worked tirelessly 24/7 to pour the incredible 4,360,000 cubic yards of concrete (about 4 million cubic meters).
During its construction, however, 96 people lost their lives.
Despite the tragedies, the project continued and currently provides power to 1.7 million people. The lines that carry the power stretch over 2700 miles from Hoover Dam to LA.
Perhaps next time you visit the dam, while you can also appreciate the magnificent engineering and dedication that went into completing the project, now you can also have fun with this little trick and show-off your upwards pouring skills.