4 Shockingly Massive Things
It’s been said many times (but never to me) that size matters. We humans enjoy making things extreme in some way, be it the hottest hot sauce, smallest computer, largest bicycle, or raunchiest porn. Some might want to discuss what that says about our psyche and stuff, but let’s be real here, that’s boring as watching waterbugs. On this site, we’ve seen the effects of living in small houses, but I think it’s time to see things of a larger scale. No, I’m not going to embarrass you with a picture of your mother, that’s just mean (and plus, we can’t upload a picture of her, the website keeps saying the file is too large).
Also, this happened. Something about the processor overheating due to stress…
Anyway, I went on a journey on the high seas of Internet Ocean aboard the good ship Google, and found some of the largest things in the world. I’ll show you some pictures, tell you some details, and you’ll give me thumbs. Savvy?
“Hey, that’s my word!”
“Hey, no one cares.”
The Largest Telescope
Telescopes are apparently not measured in length anymore, but rather the width of their mirrors. The telescope that currently holds the title is Gran Telescopio Canarias in Spain. Generally referred to as GTC or GranTeCan, this thing’s light collecting thingy is 10.4 meters across (which in American is 410 inches) and is housed in 24m (78.74 ft) tall 35m (114.83 ft) wide dome. There are other telescopes that are close in size, but for now GranTeCan takes the cake. When its father’s mother complained about not being able to sleep well because she feels bad about him taking the cake, it told her “Gran, tea can help you sleep.”
Basically this thing stares at the sky and can see very very far. It won’t remain at the top spot for too much longer, so don’t get too proud, Spaniards! The aptly named European Extremely Large Telescope is set to be completed in 2022. That sucker’s mirror will have a girth of 39m, which to say correctly is 127.953 feet, and that will allow it to collect 100 million times more light than the average human eye. That’s crazy. Like Dallas in November 1963 mind blowing.
GranTeCan compared to the EELT will look like a peashooter next to a 6.5 mm Carcano Model 91/38 carbine.
The Largest Warehouse
Now to shift from white coat to blue collar, I give you the largest warehouse in the world. This building covers 2 million square feet, but there’s no word on how many odd pear-shaped feet it covers. Target uses it as an import warehouse, where products come in from overseas and get shipped to stores around the nation. As a disclaimer, I should reveal that I work at a Target, so I feel a little more proud than I otherwise would about this building. But really guys, that’s fricken huge (also, that’s what she said). To put this into perspective, an American football field is only 57,240 square feet.
Yes, those are semi trailers, not cars, parked outside.
Target is the second largest retailer in America, and it’s fitting they have this building. It’s the second largest in America, second only to the Boeing factory in the same state. I guess there is something the state of Washington is useful for besides apples and confusing people.
“Are you saying Washington the state or Washington D.C.?”
“I’m saying hipsters are confusing people and Washington the state is full of them.”
The Largest Camera
This entry is cheating a bit, but it’s so cool that I’ll let it slide like a Jamaican bobsled team. A team of 6 artists collaborated and got a larger team of volunteers to help them seal an airplane hangar from all outside light. We don’t know how they incentivized the volunteers, but I know what I would do with a huge completely black room and a bunch of people. Bring in a bunch of mattresses, pillows, and take a group nap! Where did you think I was going with that?
Aw come on, guys!
So they blacked out the hangar and made a tiny hole (less than a quarter inch in diameter) to serve as the aperture for the building/camera. They got a 107 ft by 31 ft seamless piece of muslin cloth (most likely from one of the artists’ grandmother who sews like everything…), made it light sensitive with 21 gallons of silver halide, and opened the little hole for about thirty five minutes. This resulted in the largest picture ever, which was developed in a custom-made tub the size of an Olympic pool, because of course it was.
“I can’t tag anyone on here or favorite it! What’s the point?”
The Largest Engine
Finland is home to the Wärtsilä-Sulzer company, which makes the largest engine in the world. I don’t know much else about Finland, so I’m just going to guess that they are all mer-people over there and mostly responsible for the otherkin craziness on Tumblr. Now that I have the required Finland joke out of the way, let me tell you about this engine. Its sexy name is the RTA96C-14, and it weighs in at only 2300 tons.
Hey, how’s it going?
The fourteen pistons are 38 inches across, and move 98 inches up and down and up and down and up and…you get it. These pistons turn the crankshaft, which weighs 300 tons, at a maximum of 120 revolutions per minute, producing 108, 920 horsepower. This beast consumes 0.26 pounds of fuel per horsepower per hour at its most efficient. Most car engines get about 0.5 lb/hp/hr, meaning this engine is actually quite efficient, and that’s about as far as I’ll go. I was going to do the math and figure out what the miles per gallon would be, but you’re going to have to do that yourself. I’m going to eat some food now that I don’t feel like I’m huge.
This should get me to at least GranTeCan size soon enough.
• Aziz Ansari Accused of Assaulting Anonymous Admirer
• Is it complicated to say "No" to men?
• Oprah Winfrey for President?
• Things you can say both during sex and at a family dinner