In 1995, the American Society of Civil Engineers carefully curated their Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The list featured structures that were considered to be perfect examples of Humankind’s ability to create phenomenal structures. Of course, since then, there have been a host of other, even more incredible, constructions but these remain the ASCE’s Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

1. The Panama Canal

This massive feat of engineering connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was completed in 1917 and a new, larger, canal opened in 2016.

Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean
Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean

2. The Netherlands North Sea Protection Works

This incredible network of dikes and barriers commenced with the Afsluiitdjik, a 19-mile-long dike which was completed in 1932. The project allowed the Netherlands, a third of which is below sea-level, to create new land, while protecting it from flooding. The series of dikes and barriers is collectively known as the North Sea Protection Works.

Netherlands North Sea Protection Works
Netherlands North Sea Protection Works

3. The Empire State Building

The 1,250-foot-tall building is an iconic feature of New York’s skyline. Completed in 1931, it was the world’s tallest building until 1970.

New York City skyline with urban skyscrapers at sunset, USA.
New York City skyline with urban skyscrapers at sunset, USA.

4. The Golden Gate Bridge

Opened in 1937, the bridge was the world’s longest suspension bridge for almost three decades. The bridge connects San Francisco to Marin County and is 1.7 miles long. Before its construction, the only way to get across San Francisco bay was via ferry: today, over 41 million vehicles cross the bridge every year.

San Francisco from San Francisco Headlands and Golden Gate bridge
San Francisco from San Francisco Headlands and Golden Gate bridge

5. The CN Tower

Standing at 1,818 feet tall, Toronto’s CN tower was the world’s tallest building when it was completed in 1976.

Toronto sunset over lake panorama with urban skyline.
Toronto sunset over lake panorama with urban skyline.

6. The Itaipu Dam

Situated on the border of Paraguay and Brazil, the five-mile-long dam is the world’s largest functional hydroelectric plant. Since construction was completed in 1984, the electricity produced has been shared by the two bordering countries. The dam supplies over 90% of Paraguay’s electricity.

The Itaipu Dam is a huge hydroelectric dam
The Itaipu Dam is a huge hydroelectric dam

7. The Channel Tunnel

The most recently built Modern Wonder opened in 1994. The 30-mile-long tunnel is built beneath the Channel and connects Coquelles in France to Folkstone in England.

Dover, Kent, England - June 26, 2012: The White Cliffs of Dover, England are cliffs which form part of the English coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France. The cliffs have great symbolic value in Britain because they face towards Continental Europe across the narrowest part of the English Channel, where invasions have historically threatened and against which the cliffs form a symbolic guard.
Dover, Kent, England – June 26, 2012: The White Cliffs of Dover, England are cliffs which form part of the English coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France. The cliffs have great symbolic value in Britain because they face towards Continental Europe across the narrowest part of the English Channel, where invasions have historically threatened and against which the cliffs form a symbolic guard.

The Seven Wonders of the Modern World are stunning to behold. If, however, archaeology isn’t your thing, why not take a look at the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.
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