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10 Mechanical Marvels whose Pictures Don’t Do their Size Justice

Mechanical marvels

As mankind progresses, the need for bigger machines is becoming more evident with each passing day. Designers and engineers have gone above and beyond to increase productivity and make jobs easier by making bigger and better machines. This list contains ten mechanical giants whose sheer size is so huge that even their pictures won’t do them justice. From large digging machines and large ships to some of the biggest airplanes in the world, this list contains machines that are a testament to human engineering and ingenuity.

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1. Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

Large Hadron Collider
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Image credits: CERN
The Large Hadron Collider/ATLAS
The Large Hadron Collider/ATLAS- ATLAS is one of two general-purpose detectors at the Large Hadron Collider. Image credits: Image Editor/Flickr
Aerial image of the LHC site
Aerial image of the LHC site. Image credits: DJandyw.com AKA Nobody/Flickr

The Large Hadron Collider is officially the largest and the most sophisticated machine built by mankind to this date. It was built by CERN in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and hundreds of laboratories and universities in over 100 countries. This machine lies in a 27-km- (17-miles-) long tunnel that is 175 meters (574 feet) beneath the border of France and Switzerland. Inside, the pipe of the LHC is a vacuum space which duplicates the condition of space in the universe.

Scientists use it to cause the collision of some of the smallest particles known by the man with each other. This occurs within the LHC at almost 99.99% the speed of light. The particles move so fast that they almost complete approximately 11,000 laps of the 17-mile-long tunnel every second. These collisions result in the formation of subatomic particles. The main aim of the LHC is to find the subatomic particles that are unknown to us so far. Scientists hope that the discovery of new subatomic particles might help unravel some mysteries of the formation of our universe. (1, 2)

2. Prelude FLNG

FLNG
Shell’s floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility. Image credits: Shell
FLNG
Image credits: Shell

Prelude FLNG is the world’s largest floating platform of liquefied natural gas and the largest offshore facility ever constructed. Owned by Royal Dutch Shell, Prelude FLNG is about 487 meters long. It is longer than some tall buildings such as the Empire State Building, and the Petronas Towers. Even though it is huge, Prelude FLNG can withstand up to category-5 cyclones. The cost of this floating platform is between 10.8 and 12.6 billion USD.

Prelude FLNG is used to gather natural gas from underneath the seabed. Prelude FLNG produces up to 3.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas each year, which is enough to power a big city. In addition to being an LNG facility, Prelude is also a temporary home to the 220 to 240 crew members Additionally, it has facilities such as a restaurant, gymnasium, and gaming zone. (1, 2)

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3. BelAZ 75710

Belaz 75710
Image credits: Carsguide
Belaz 75710
Image credits: Carsguide

This beast created by BelAZ is the world’s largest and heaviest dump truck. It has 496-ton payload capacity and can generate 13,738 pounds of torque. This dump truck operates with an astonishing 4,600 horsepower and has a top speed of up to 40 miles per hour. BelAZ 75710 is nine meters tall, and its tires alone are almost more than twice as large as an average human. To give you a perspective of the heaviness of this huge truck, BelAZ 75710 weighs almost as much as 750,000 pounds. That is the equivalent of 215 average-weighing cars.

Primarily, this truck is used to carry a payload from mining sites. BelAZ 75710 is capable of hauling up to 992,000 lb (450,000 kg) of materials. It is guaranteed to make the life of workers easier with its high-carrying capacity. BelAZ 75710 is available to purchase and costs up to 6 million USD each. (1, 2)

4. Stratolaunch Scaled Composites Model 351

Stratolaunch Scaled Composites Model 351
Image credits: Stratolaunch Systems
Stratolaunch Scaled Composites Model 351
Image credits: Stratolaunch Systems

Made by the company founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Scaled Composites Model 351 is the largest aircraft in the world by wingspan. With a wingspan measuring 385 ft. (117 m), this plane even needs a custom-built hangar to store it. Due to its huge size, normal aircraft hangars are not able to accommodate this giant. This is the first twin-fuselage plane to ever fly. It first flew across the Mojave Desert for up to 2.5 hours at an altitude of 17,000 feet. Additionally, the plane also reached a record speed of 305 kph on its first flight.

The company hopes to use this twin-fuselage airplane to launch satellite-bearing rockets into space. This air-giant is capable of carrying a payload of up to 500,000 pounds and has a top speed of 853 km/h. However, after the death of Paul Allen, Vulcan, the holding company of Stratolaunch, is set to sell it for 400 million USD. This price includes ownership of the airplane, the facilities, and its intellectual property. (1, 2)

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5. Bagger 293

Bagger 293
Image credits: ThyssenKrupp Technologies, SwapMeetDave via NASA
Bagger 293
Image credits: Stefan Fussan/Wikimedia

Bagger 293 is a true masterpiece and a living testament to German engineering. It holds the world record for the highest terrestrial vehicle in the world. This mega machine works in the coal mines of western Germany and is as large as two football fields in length. Besides, it stands at a height of 96 m, that is almost as much as a 30 story building. This excavator weighs up to 14,200 tons and requires five people at once to operate it. In other words, this German giant weighs as much as 2,000 adult elephants.

Bagger 293’s primary purpose is to dig for coal. It uses its massive, 18 buckets to dig up the coal and the ground around it. Each bucket is capable of picking up 15,000 lb. of material in one scoop.  In addition to digging up the coal, it also has a unique conveyor belt system that is used to transport the dug-up materials. This giant excavator is capable of extracting enough coal to power several million homes.  Bagger 293 has more than 2,000 steps and up to a half-mile of walkways up to the height of 230 ft. Surprisingly, it is quite normal to see a crew member walk up to over five miles in one shift just inside this machine. (1, 2)

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