Mankind has built some pretty big things in the past. Three thousand years ago I am sure some people would have sworn that nothing would ever rival the pyramids of Egypt. But here today in 2012 humans have pushed the limits of the word “biggest” and produced some really, really large things:
The Aizhai Bridge
Offshore from Australia Shell
Shell was awarded top-prize in the Total Energy innovation competition on Nov. 29 for the Prelude, imagined in the computerized image above, which will be the largest offshore floating production facility in the world. It measures 74 meters wide and 488 meters long, or more than four soccer fields end to end. When fully loaded with liquefied natural gas, it will weigh six times as much as the largest aircraft carrier and be capable of withstanding a category 5 cyclone.
Given its girth, we wondered what else out there is really, really big. Here are a few that we found.
Cern Particle Accelerator
When you are banging atomic-size particles into one another, you need something big—like this 16-mile loop with an electromagnet weighing 2,000 tonnes, equivalent to five jumbo jets.
Worlds Biggest Lense, Canon 5200mm Lens
This is a very rare 5200mm photographic lens – possibly one of only three ever built. THE largest and most powerful prime lens ever created for dedicated SLR use. Built in Japan it was purchased by a Chinese company and shipped to China where it has since had little use and is now for sale.
Antonov An-225 Mriya
An-225 “Mriya” made in Ukraine is the biggest plane in the world. And there is only one plane like this. It is the heaviest aircraft with a gross weight of 640 tonnes and the biggest heavier-than-air aircraft in terms of length and wingspan in operational service. Among its many records, it holds the absolute world record for airlifted payload at 189,980 kilogram (418,834 pounds).
Moving around big stuff offshore requires a crane vessel. This one, called the SSCV Thialf, is the largest ever made, at 201 meters long and 88 meters wide. It can lift 14,200 tonnes in weight.
The Krupp Bagger 288, the world’s largest excavator, is made by Thyssen Krupp. It is good for moving around buried stuff such as coal.
Want to familiarize yourself with the sensation of flying into Space? There is nothing like the world’s largest vertical motion simulator, a three-dimensional, 100-foot-tall contraption at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
Space shuttle transporter
Out of the wayNASA
Elon Musk may need one of these. But if you, too, need to move your new space rocket, this NASA Crawler is just the thing. It’s based on the same technology that goes into gigantic earth-moving equipment.
The Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1
The LTM 11200-9.1 is both the the strongest and tallest telescopic crane in the world, lifting up to 1,200 tons. Its eight-part telescoping boom extends up to 328 feet and, with the addition of a lattice jib, has a maximum lift height of 630 feet, more than 50 stories high. The crane is powered by a separate 6-cylinder 240kW engine (in addition to the 500kW engine that runs the 65-foot, 9-axle carrier). The eight-part boom is fully automatically extended to and fixed at the desired length. In addition, various lattice extensions are available. The Y-shaped telescopic-boom guying system offers remarkable increases in load capacity. Rolling along on a nine-axle suspension, this machine is equipped with disc brakes.