Things People Thought Were Impossible
There are four structures people thought were impossible until engineers built them.
Have you ever noticed that our definition of 'impossible' changes every decade or so? Before the Internet, it used to be impossible to have a real-time conversation with someone halfway across the world without carrying your weight in gold in long-distance charges. The same thing applies to engineering structures. Some things are just impossible to create. Or are they?
Let's take a short walk down memory lane, and look at some of the things we once thought were impossible to build until engineers actually built them.
Hanging glass pool in Houston, Texas
With this kind of creation, it’s not so much that it can’t be built, as it is that it shouldn't be able to last. You can build a swimming pool with a glass base and hang it off a skyscraper. It would look good, but you wouldn't feel safe going for a swim in it - at least, not without a parachute.
But then, engineers did it. There's a hanging glass swimming pool in one of the luxury apartment buildings in Houston, Texas. Its base is made of nothing but crystal-clear glass. You don't need a parachute to swim in it either. But then, no matter how safe they tell you it is, some people still won't go swimming in a glass-bottom pool hanging hundreds of feet from the air. Who would blame them?
The Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan
The Guggenheim Museum is home to several artworks that could be considered to be some of the greatest ever to be created. However, the art experience begins from the outside because the building itself is a work of art.
The architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed it, and it took over 700 sketches, 700 tons of steel, and 7,000 cubic feet of concrete to complete. It has an entirely circular design and looks like it was sculpted rather than built. This makes it stand out from all the other buildings in Manhattan.
Artificial river through the desert
If you break it down into individual components, then this feat isn’t so spectacular. Engineers found a way to direct water along a course and create rivers a long time ago. Likewise, there has been water in deserts (oasis) for as long as there have been deserts.
But then, to create a river in the desert is something else entirely. The river runs underneath the Sahara Desert and is channeled by pipes stretching up to 28,000 km. The river channels about 6.5 million cubic meters of water every day. Now, that's engineering.
Palm Island in Dubai
Palm Island is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Sure, in terms of scenery, several Caribbean islands beat it, but palm island is beautiful for an entirely different reason. For starters, the whole island looks like a palm tree when viewed from above. It was intentionally designed to be so and was created entirely from sand and rocks like all islands are.
Even though it’s an artificial island, no concrete or steel was used in its construction, so its makeup isn't different from what you might find in other islands. Palm Island in Dubai is also majestic because it has the view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.