The Large Stone Carving is the heaviest stone in the Forbidden City in Beijing. It was believed to have weighed more than 300 tons when it was first transported to the site between 1407 and 1420.
Credit NYPL Digital Gallery
Judging from a carving found in an Egyptian tomb, experts say 172 men were used to transport the 60-ton Statue of Tehuti-Hetep, circa 1880 B.C. Water was used to lubricate the colossus as it slid along wooden planks.
The distance between the Forbidden City in Beijing (a) and the Dasiwo Quarry in Fangshan (b) is about 43 miles. Double lines on the map represent rivers; single lines represent roads.
Credit Bob Jordan / AP
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton, N.C., was moved almost 3,000 feet inland on July 9, 1999, to protect it from the advancing ocean.
Great works of ancient engineering, like the Pyramids or Stonehenge, inspire awe in every beholder. But some onlookers also get inspired to figure out exactly how these structures were made.
Howard Stone, an engineer from Princeton University, had such a moment in Beijing's Forbidden City — a city-within-a-city of palaces and temples built in the 15th and 16th centuries. A carved, 300-ton slab that formed a ramp to one structure particularly caught Stone's eye. "How in the world did it get here?" he wondered.
The small town of Rjukan has long had to make do without sunlight during the cold Norwegian winters.
But that changed Wednesday, when the town debuted a system of high-tech mirrors to reflect sunlight from neighboring peaks into the valley below.
Rjukan, originally founded 100 years ago as an industrial outpost for the energy company Norsk Hydro, is nestled between several mountains and does not receive direct sunlight from late September to mid-March — nearly six months out of the year.
This mosaic image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, captured between 2011 to 2012, shows the giant asteroid Vesta. The mountain at the south pole, seen at the bottom of the image, is more than twice the height of Mount Everest.
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:02 pm
When Mike Napoli got up to bat in Game 6 of the World Series, my first thought was, "Oh my goodness, that beard is awful." But after the Red Sox's first baseman laid off a few bad pitches, I started liking the hair on his chin.
All that got me thinking about beards.
Sometime during evolution women lost their facial hair. This strong difference between the sexes implies that facial furriness, or the lack thereof, has played a role in how we picked our partners, at least at one point in human history.