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The 12 Man Made Wonders of the World

Updated on January 21, 2013

Everyone has heard of the 7 wonders of the world, which includes breath taking views of nature's beauty in marvelous places like the Grand Canyon. Just as nature has done, mankind has also been leaving astonishing works behind, going all the way back to 2550 BC. What's even more amazing about some of these man made wonders is that they were built to stand up to some of the toughest test of times. These man made wonders aren't just in one region of the world, but are spread out all over this planet. So no one particular group can take credit or responsibility for these incredible feats. These 12 man made wonders are the result of all of mankind. Here are some of mankind's brightest and most brilliant achievements, in no particular order, spanning close to 5,000 years.

Panama Canal

In the Central American country of Panama the 48 mile long Panama canal was completed in 1914. The work which was difficult, and sometimes not easy ended with many deaths. The Panama canal is one of the most impressive engineering feats of all time. Instead of traveling completely around South America, a ship takes about eight to ten hours to pass through the entire Panama canal while being lifted to a height of 85 feet through three sets of locks.

Neuschwanstein Castle

In Bavaria Germany, in the year 1868 King Ludwig commissioned this palace on a rugged hill above the village of Schwangau. The palace was designed with theatrics in mind, and pays tribute to composer Richard Wagner. There are 15 finished rooms which include a two-story throne room, artificial grotto, and novelties such as central heating.

The Pyramids of Giza

In Egypt around 2550 BC the three great pyramids at Giza were built over a 20 year period during the fourth dynasty. The largest is the Pyramid of Khufu, which is built of 2.3 million limestone blocks that weigh an average of 2.5 to 15 tons a piece. After it was first constructed it stood about 480 feet tall into the sky.

Mount Rushmore

In South Dakota the great sculptor Gutzon Borgium along with 400 workers, worked for 14 years carving four U.S. presidents into the granite of Mount Rushmore. The four presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The sculptures were finished in 1941, and stand 60 feet tall.

Taj Mahal

In Agra, India construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1630 and took 23 years to complete. The Taj Mahal was a memorial from Emperor Shah Jahan to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Inlaid flowers, and calligraphy with precious gems decorate nearly every single surface of the mausoleum. The central dome of the Taj Mahal rises to an impressive height of 213 feet.


In Jordan, the ancient city of the Nabataeans was first established through a narrow sandstone passageway around the 6th century BC. The treasury is the most photographed building in all of Petra. Surrounded by rose colored mountain walls, it exemplifies the grandeur of the rock carved architecture. I can't exactly explain why, but Petra is my favorite out of all 12 of these man made wonders.

Great Wall of China

This wonder of the world certainly doesn't need much of an introduction. The great wall of China stretches 5,500 miles, and is composed of a series of stone and earthen fortifications. Most of the wall was built during the Ming Dynasty from the year 1368 through 1644. There were several walls that were later added and built along the southern edge of Mongolia.

Petronas Twin Towers

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia the Petronas Twin Towers stand 1,482.6 feet tall, and have a total of 88 floors. The towers were the world's tallest building from 1998 to 2004. They are built of high strength reinforced concrete with a steel and glass facade. The twin towers reflect motifs found in Islamic art. There's a two story sky bridge that connects the two towers together on the 41st and 42nd floors.

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

In Japan the Akashi Kaikyo bridge connects the city of Kobe on Honshu Island to the city of Iwaya on Awaji Island. The bridge spans a total of 12,831 feet, and towers over the very busy Akashi Strait. It was completed in 1998, and the bridge has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the entire world at 6,532 feet.

Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is located between the two states of Arizona, and Nevada on the great Colorado River. It was completed in 1936, and blended groundbreaking engineering along with Art Deco Design. The Hoover Dam was the highest dam ever built. It was also the most costliest water project, and largest power plant ever built. The Hoover Dam is an impressive 726 feet high, and 1,244 feet long.

Roman Colosseum

Construction on the Roman Colosseum in Rome, Italy began around 70 to 72 AD. It could hold between 45,000 and 55,000 spectators, and it was designed with easy crowd control in mind. The arena itself was 272 feet by 157 feet, and had a wooden floor with sand on top. Underneath the wooden floor there's a two level network of tunnels and cages.

Eiffel Tower

This last man made wonder needs no introduction either. The Eiffel Tower was built in Paris, France in 1889 for the world's fair. The Eiffel Tower stood 986 feet tall, and at the time it was the tallest structure in the world. It took 300 steel workers, two years to build the tower. They used in the construction of the Eiffel Tower 40 tons of paint, 2.5 million rivets, and 8,000 tons of iron.


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    • Goldia profile image

      Goldia 8 months ago from Illinois

      Interesting and a good idea.

    • curious dreamer profile image

      Mahesh Mohan 5 years ago from India

      nice hub......

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      The Stages Of ME 5 years ago

      beautiful hub and pics. Took me places I may never see but I got a taste in your hub. Have a beautiful day:)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      THanks for this list. I often forget about these wonders of the world. I am enjoyed the post and am refreshed on their beauty.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      Petra is a fascinating building and it was very mysteriously a big part of raiders of the lost ark. Thanks for sharing those wonders of mankind.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Fantastic hub. I was quite familiar with some but previously did not know about many of these other wonders.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      This was great with beautiful pictures of each of the "wonders" Thank you for sharing! Voted up and interesting!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      These sure are some wonderful and remarkable places. When my father was in WWII, he was in India for a while. He has pictures with scaffolding when the turrets of the Taj Mahal were being built.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 5 years ago

      A very representative list of the man made wonders. As someone else suggested it would be a tour of a lifetime to travel to all of them on the same trip. Good hub.....loved the photos....voted up.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Very cool list. It would be cool to travel to all of them one day.

    • Prakash Dighe profile image

      Prakash Dighe 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas, USA

      Very interesting - thanks for putting it together! I too have some traveling to do - I've seen four of them.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, I have seen two of them; I have some traveling to do, obviously.

      Great list; quite interesting.