Monday, June 27, 2011

Modern engineering marvels

You've read about or (if you're lucky enough) seen the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt and Machu Picchu. Let’s shift our attention from the classic depictions of man-made marvels to more modern engineering feats. You can experience two of these marvels—the Channel Tunnel and National Stadium—on a journey with Discovery Student Adventures. Come explore!

The Channel Tunnel
Also called the Chunnel, this massive throughway connects Folkestone, England, with Conquelles, France, via 31.4 miles of undersea rail. At its lowest point, it is 250 feet deep. The Channel Tunnel possesses the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world, although the Seikan Tunnel in Japan is both longer overall at 33.46 mles and deeper at 790 feet below sea level.

National Stadium
This modern architectural feat was designed as a football (soccer, to Americans) and track & field venue for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Dubbed the "Bird's Nest" for its likeness, the stadium can seat a whopping 91,000 spectators. The design for the stadium was based on Chinese ceramics.

Oasis of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas is the largest passenger ship in the world. At 1,181 feet, Oasis is 69 feet longer than the prior largest passenger ship, the Independence of the Seas and classmates. Oasis also is 28 feet wider, and with a gross tonnage of 225,286, is almost 45% larger. The ship cost $1.24 billion to build.

Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge
The longest suspension bridge in the world, Akashi Kaikyo isn't just massive; it's also visually stunning. Also known as the Pearl Bridge, it has the longest central span of any suspension bridge, at 6,532 feet. The bridge links the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshū to Iwaya on Awaji Island by crossing the busy Akashi Strait. It carries part of the Honshū-Shikoku Highway.

San Alofonso del Mar
San Alfonso del Mar is a private resort located in Algarrobo, Chile, about 60 miles west of the capital Santiago. It is notable for having the Guinness world record for the largest and deepest swimming pool in the world. The pool covers nearly 20 acres and has as much water as 6,000 regular swimming pools.

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