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Movie lover. Growing Capoeirista. Space enthusiast. Dedicated craftsman. And best of all, homegrown Los Angeles native. Wait, how in the hell did I end up in China!?
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“Mammoth”. That was my first thought. The second? Is it really all that powerful? Well, turns out it was.
[READ] China's also got the world's largest radio telescope.
Read about my journey to see the FAST Telescope.
Mankind has produced some pretty innovative technology since its inception, from everyday tools to cellphones, cars and rollercoasters to computers and satellites.
Powerful rockets have propelled humans into space, while particle accelerators have offered a comprehensive look into the subatomic world.
There are glorious machines and apparatuses that are built to transform nature, too, often to benefit entire cities. We can dig massive holes through Earth, shift the weather using chemicals, or generate enough energy, through wind, sunlight, or water, to power the lives of many.
Speaking of which, such a technology likes this does exist in China, and actually, it’s the most compelling of its kind.
Allow me to introduce China’s Three Gorges Dam, the world's biggest hydro-electric dam, located along the Yangtze River in Yichang, Hubei Province.
First, let’s get to the facts: Construction for Three Gorges Dam began in 1994, but it didn’t start producing power until 2006. The dam reportedly cost over $31 billion to make. It’s got a height of 594 ft. (181m) and is 7,661 ft. long (2,335m). And … wait for it … Three Gorges Dam can produce up to 22,500 megawatts of electricity using 34 generators. Now that’s power! An insane amount of power, to be exact.
And that’s not all. Like most dams, Three Gorges wasn’t just built to produce energy; in fact, there are 3 more methods to its madness.
There’s flood control, which is a system used to prevent disastrous floods brought upon by the Yangtze River. Navigation control, a ship lock and shiplift structure developed to assist vessels traveling up and down Yangtze River.
And simplest of all, tourism. Three Gorges Dam is an engineering marvel of the world filled with mind-blowing facts. With that, China’s citizens, as well as the international community, travel hundreds to thousands of miles annually to view the groundbreaking achievement up-close. And well, that’s exactly what I did.
But, dear reader, a word of caution: There is a flip-side to every coin. Sure, Three Gorges Dam is brimming with all the glitz and glamour any popular scientific feat should receive; however, at the same time, there is lots of controversy surrounding Three Gorges Dam you must know.
Building of the dam, for instance, has displaced some 1.2 million people from town and villages in the area. Pollution spewing into the dam’s reservoir has damaged water quality and endangered plants, insects, fish, and their ecosystems, along the Yangtze River, which has caused fisheries on the basin to see sharp declines in their annual yield.
Trust me, those are just some of the grandstanding highlights.
Now, is visiting Three Gorges Dam worth the trip. Sure. It’s not every day that one has access to the most powerful engineering developments ever created. Plus, surrounding Three Gorges Dam sits an awe-inspiring look at the picture-perfect natural scenery surrounding Yangtze River.
Nevertheless, maybe you don’t like the controversy. Maybe, from your extensive research, you view Three Gorges Dam as nothing but a record-setting beautiful disaster to the environment.
And well, I’ll just leave that for you to decide. But, before you consider the next “where to” on your travel bucket list, always remember: “The ultimate measure of an adventurer is not the places they’ve been for comfort and convenience, but where they’ve traveled to discover challenges and controversy.”
Yeah, something like that … Safe & happy travels!
Check out a video of my trip to Three Gorges Dam below
Sources: Wikipedia contributors. "Three Gorges Dam." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 31 Mar. 2020. Web. 3 Apr. 2020.
Travel Blogger. ESL Teacher. Optimistic Millennial Adventurer! -->