This Is The Largest Elevator In The World

Gadgets |

The world’s largest elevator holds more than just people, it can actually lift an entire ship. It allows vessels to navigate China's Three Gorges Dam, a 600-foot structure with varying levels of water heights on either side.

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The ships descend a couple hundred feet from the upstream of the Yangtze River to the surface. The domestically made lift can take the vessels 40 stories high in just 10 minutes. But it can only carry 18 per day due to the long wait times, so they're thinking of building a new one. Between now and then, authorities are working to improve access across the dam to meet the demand.

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The elevator, which weighs around 15,500 tons, can lift 6.7 million pounds of boats and water at once. Its ability to move ships hundreds of feet up or down increases the dam’s shipping capacity of six million tons per year. What originally took over three hours, now takes less than an hour.

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The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest power station. Beyond producing electricity and its previously discussed increasing of the river’s shipping capacity, the dam also reduces the potential for floods downstream by providing flood storage space. It was designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and equipped with state of the art turbines.

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But the dam has also been controversial both domestically and abroad. It has flooded archaeological and cultural sites, displaced over a million people and is causing significant ecological changes. Despite its aforementioned reduction of potential flooding, it’s also increased the risk of landslides. Check out the amazing power of the dam, as well as the record breaking ship elevator, in the footage below...