In 2015, China proudly completed the Three Gorges Dam, a colossal hydroelectric power plant that earned the title of the world’s largest. But did you know its sheer size briefly affected the Earth’s rotation, slowing it down by a tiny 0.06 microseconds?
This engineering marvel is a behemoth of concrete and steel, equivalent to 63 Eiffel Towers in steel (463,000 metric tonnes) and a mind-boggling 27.3 million cubic meters of concrete. To make room for its immense reservoir, a whopping 102.3 million cubic meters of earth had to be shifted. Picture an external concrete wall soaring 594 feet from the base (181 meters).
The dam’s reservoir is no slouch either, stretching across 660 kilometers in length and reaching a width of 1.2 kilometers. Imagine it holding a jaw-dropping 39 trillion trillion kilograms of water. Now, here’s where it gets interesting – the weight of all that water influenced the Earth’s moment of inertia, causing a temporary slowdown in our planet’s rotation.
NASA reveals that this rotation adjustment was a mere 0.06 microseconds. It might sound small, but considering the colossal scale of the dam, it’s a testament to its impact on our planet. And this is just one of China’s recent feats, including an artificial moon and achieving temperatures hotter than the sun..…See More