Sunday, April 3, 2011
Mythos: The Great Wall of China
Have any of you guys heard this being said anywhere: “The Great Wall of China is the only man-made object that can be seen from space!” If you think it can, you are very wrong indeed. It’s one of those things that you just accept as true as soon as you hear it because, well, that wall has the word “great” before it, so it must be ginormous! When you think about it, though, you realize that the wall couldn’t possibly be seen from space. For starters, it’s only about 30 feet wide. What does this mean, you ask? This means that it’s about as wide as most highways. Can you see highways from space? Of course not! Earth would look so ugly if you could see highways from space! Furthermore, if you can see highways, then many long buildings should also be seen from space, when they are clearly not. One of the few man-made objects that can be seen from space are the Pyramids of Giza (the bigger ones, of course…not all of them) because they are freaking huge.
But Rafa, I can go on “satellite” images in Google maps and see everything! Ok, for one, these satellites are equipped to map out Earth and all man-made streets and such, meaning they don’t really count (because of the cameras and such). Even if they did count, though, they still go against what was said because they would make the Great Wall one of the many millions and billions of man-made things observable from space! The myth is so prevalent that China has even tried to step in and squash the myth itself. Astronauts have even tried taking pictures from the ISS when they were over the Great Wall and haven’t been able to find it or see it at all. Just one example of the many urban legends that are simply not true. Fight ignorance and spread the word!