Did You Know These Things About the Great Wall of China?
The wall was built for centuries by human hands, and there are probably a few people who have never heard of it. The Great Wall of China is extremely long and according to the popular belief visible from the Moon, but besides these facts, what else do we know about this world wonder.
1 Its length
People usually think the length of the Wall is about 3900 miles (6276.442 km) but in fact, the entire thing is 5500 miles (8851.392 km) long. 3900 miles(6276.442 km) is the length of the actual wall but you have to add the length of the trenches and natural barriers that are also part of the complex. So if you try to walk down the wall, it would probably take you months to come to the end.
2 How long it was built
The construction of the Wall took over 2 thousands years. The very first parts of the Wall were built as early as in the 8th century BC. Two whole millenniums, can you believe it?
3 The Wall had many names
Over the years the Wall has had names such as “barrier”, “rampant”, or “fortress” to much more poetic names like “Purple Frontier” or “Earth Dragon”. It was not until the end of the 19th century when it got the official name “The Great Wall of China”.
4 Most of the world didn’t know about the Wall for a long time
Although the Wall has been around for more than two millenniums, it was unknown to the rest of the world. The First European who set foot on the Wall, is supposed to be a Portuguese explorer named Bento de Gois in 1605.
5 Myths are busted
The myth claiming that the mortar used for binding the building material was made of human bones, is not true. The building material consisted of many things available at the given time, ranging from compacted earth, stones, rubble or wood to bricks, clay tiles or lime.
6 The Wall struggles dissolving
While some parts of the Wall have been well preserved and renovated, most of it is in disrepair. In the 1970´s, the Wall was seen as a despotism symbol and people were even encouraged to use the bricks and stones as building material for their own houses.
7 For centuries the Wall wasn’t rebuilt
The construction of the Wall officially finished in 1644 when the last ruler of the Ming Dynasty was overthrown. Since then, no further work has been done except for works necessary for the preservation of the Wall.
8 How tall it is?
At its broadest point, the Wall is 30 feet (9.144 m) wide and the maximum height is 12 feet (3.6576m). The highest point of the Wall (top of a watch tower) is around 26 feet (7.9248m).
9 How many people built the Great Wall of China?
It is hard to determine how many people were involved in the construction of the Wall but according to some studies, the number could have been as high as 800,000.
10 It is not visible from the Moon
There is a popular myth that the Great Wall of China is visible from the Moon. Since it would be like viewing a human hair from a distance of about 2 miles, this myth is not true. Actually, seeing the Wall with naked eye is probably not possible even from the low Earth orbit which is “just” 100 miles above the ground. Some astronauts claimed they saw it but later on, it emerged that it was something else (for example a river).
11 Why it was built?
Protection against invasions from the North was not the only purpose of the Wall. It was also used for border controls, imposing of duties on transported goods, and regulation of trade and immigration.
12 The dragon legend
According to a legend, it was a dragon who determined the course of the Wall for the workforce. Then, the builders just followed his tracks. Some people say that even the Wall itself resembles the shape of a dragon winding over the mountains.