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12,000 years ago in the hills
of Modern-day turkey our ancient ancestors built
what is to our knowledge the oldest temple in the world.
It has always been a human desire to
see how far up into the sky their creations can reach
ancient humans used to gaze up at the night sky
and dream about reaching the stars
with their buildings.
It is only natural for humanity to push further
than ever before and to build taller and taller than anybody before them.
But surely there must be a limit to
how tall we can eventually build something, right?
What is actually the tallest thing that we could theoretically ever build?
To begin with a sense of scale.
This is a standard height for a one-story family
home about four and a half meters tall above
the ground moving up from there at 128 meters high
is the tallest statue in the world a statue,
so tall that if you jumped from the top
of its head it would take you five
and a half seconds before hitting the ground.
Just a bit higher,
at 139 meters is the tallest roller coaster in the world.
But that’s not quite as high up as the Great Pyramid
of Giza which was built a very long time ago in
it was by far the tallest thing that we humans had ever built
and it maintained that record for an
unbelievable three thousand eight hundred Eighty-one years
until it was finally beaten in the year thirteen eleven
in England the Lincoln cathedral reached a soaring height of
160 meters into the sky and that remained the tallest
thing that humans had ever achieved
until kind of recently in 1884
when the Washington monument in Washington DC
finally surpassed its height at 169 meters.
The tallest ferris wheel in the world currently
is roughly the same height as this Monument,
so the monument clearly didn’t
remain the tallest structure for very long.
The Eiffel tower surpassed it quickly
and was 301 meters high above the ground which
absolutely dwarfed everything that humans had ever built before it.
The Eiffel tower Kind of opened up Pandora’s box though
in terms of how tall we could possibly
build something with the advent of wrought iron
and steel the height
of our structures could get much greater.
The Chrysler building at
319 meters tall finally unseated the Eiffel tower
after 41 years of holding the record
But the very next year after it was completed
the Empire state building stole the crown at a
massive height of 448 meters.
But even this record wouldn’t last for very long
because starting in 1963,
the tallest thing ever built by humanity would
actually be a TV mast.
The tallest of these ever built was the
Warsaw radio tower
which ascended to a
staggering height of 646 meters.
It collapsed in 1991
but its height was never surpassed until very recently in 2008.
To prepare for the scale of the tallest thing ever built by humans so far
I’m going to include several other very
tall and recognizable buildings onto this graph first.
But by far taller than any
of them is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai
this Monster Building is 830 meters tall
it takes two thousand nine hundred and
nine steps to walk up from the ground floor to the top.
Or you can take an elevator ride that takes two minutes and 40 seconds.
If you jump from the top and somehow hits the ground
without hitting any part of the building
it would take you 20 seconds to fall the entire distance.
Go ahead and start a timer at 20 seconds to
understand how long of a fall that actually is.
But the burj Khalifa is only how tall we have built
not how tall we possibly could build.
If we wanted to
we could build something significantly higher
so what’s preventing us
from doing that right now?
In theory there really isn’t a limits to how
tall we could build something at all.
So long as we kept expanding the base of the structure
to support the added weight on the top.
Since the Earth is spherical
there obviously is a limit to how much we could expand the base of the structure by.
So given our current technology and resources the
tallest thing we could possibly build right now is likely
the X-Seed 4000
the tallest structure ever fully envisioned with completed blueprints.
It would soar to an insane height of four
kilometres into the sky which would
make the burj kalifa look puny in comparison.
And it would be even taller than Mount Fuji is
in Japan it would even reach about 45%
as high as mount Everest.
Or 2748 Toyota Corollas stacked on top of each other
the base of the tower would have to be six
kilometres across in order to support the
enormous weight on the top.
It would basically be a metal mountain capable of housing
over 1 million people inside of it,
and it would be so gargantuan that it would likely
disrupt weather patterns around wherever it is built.
The cost of building such a titanic structure however
is perhaps as equal a ludicrous thought.
Estimates range anywhere from
479 Billion dollars on the lower end up
to one point four trillion dollars on the higher end
which is higher than the entire GDP of Russia.
The X-Seed 4000 is a true testament to possibility and
if we decided to build it today
there’s nothing that could stop us from finishing it tomorrow
In the future it may become possible to build even more outrageous
structures like a space elevator 100,000 kilometers
above the Earth’s surface.
But since that currently isn’t possible
I decided to leave it out of this video until now.
There doesn’t exist a material that we
can produce enough of that is both strong
and light enough to build a space elevator.
But if our technology advances enough in the future
it is theoretically possible to build
which makes this probably the tallest
thing that could ever be built on Earth in humanity’s future.
For some perspective the international space station only orbits
around the Earth
this far away from the surface
while the 100,000 kilometer space elevator would stretch
all the way out to here.
Due to the Earth’s rotation the top
of this elevator would be moving incredibly fast relative
to the surface.
This means that people on board would
experience a modest amount of time dilation
similar to what astronauts onboard the international space station
Astronaut Scott Kelly for example spent an entire year
aboard the space station
and as a result of time dilation
he returned back to Earth
0.01 seconds younger than his identical twin brother.
It may not seem like much
but Scott kelly in effect time traveled a
very small amount
due to the speed that he was traveling at.
I learned a lot about time travel and how it could be possible just
yesterday in a few spare minutes
by listening to Blinkist
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包括James Gleick的《Time Travel: A History》
time travel a history by James Gleick.
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