Thursday, June 9, 2011

10 of the World's Weirdest Man-Made Islands

An artificial island or man-made island is an island or archipelago that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means. They are created by expanding existing islets, construction on existing reefs, or amalgamating several natural islets into a bigger island. Let’s check out the 10 of strangest man-made islands.

1. Kamfers Dam, South Africa
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Kamfers Dam is a privately owned permanent water body of 400 ha (988 acre), situated to the immediate north of Kimberley, South Africa. The wetland was originally an ephemeral pan, often dry and dependent on rain water. In recent times its water level rose as it received constant runoff and treated water from the growing city of Kimberley. The dam has become a major breeding site for Lesser Flamingos since construction of an artificial island.
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The dam and surrounding 380 ha (939 acre) wetland area are designated as a conservation zone in the city’s draft spatial development plan. As of 2008 though, pollution and rezoning of nearby land for the proposed Northgate development became a contentious issue, with conservationists raising alarm.

2. Crannógs of Scotland and Ireland
Lough Meelagh Crannóg, Ballyfarnon  photo source
A crannog was a prehistoric lakeside dwelling, built mostly of wood. Built on small offshore islets, they occur on many inland lochs (notably Tay, Awe and Ness) and estuarial coastlines. Often, an underwater causeway linked the crannog to the mainland. Some crannogs date from before 500 BC, and some survived in use until the 17th century. Some sites are now completely submerged, and await investigation by divers. The best reconstruction of a crannog is near Kenmore, in Perthshire, on the south bank of Loch Tay.
Reconstructed Crannog on Loch Tay, Scotland  photo source
This authentic recreation of a thatch-covered roundhouse on stilts is based on the excavation evidence from the 2,600 year old site of ‘Oakbank Crannog’, one of 18 crannogs preserved in Loch Tay, Scotland. The Center also has a museum with early Iron Age artifacts and an ancient crafts tent, which is especially popular with families. In the tent the guide shows everyone how to make fire (without matches), ground grain against a stone for bread, and use handmade bow drills to put holes in stones.

3. Floating Island on the Mur, Austria
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The Murinsel in Graz, Austria, is actually not an island at all, but an artificial floating platform in the middle of the Mur river. This landmark of Graz was designed by New York artist Vito Acconci on the occasion of Graz becoming the 2003 European Capital of Culture.  
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The building in the form of a giant sea shell measures 50m in length and 20m in width. Two footbridges connect it with both banks of the Mur. The center of the platform forms an amphitheatre. Below a twisted round dome there is a café and a playground. The Murinsel is built for a maximum number of 350 visitors.

4. The Uros Floating Reed Islands, Peru
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To visitors to Lake Titicaca, a boat trip to the floating islands, a unique tourist destination, is a must. These islands are made and re-made from the totora reeds which provide home, sustenance and transportation for their residents. About a two hour boat ride from Puno, on the Peruvian side of the lake, the largest of about 40 islands and the main destination is the island of Santa María. These floating islands are the home of the Uros tribe, one which pre-dates the Incan civilization. 
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The larger and most visited islands appear to many travelers as floating souvenirs, and to some extent these indeed are tourist-traps, their inhabitants having succeed in living off tourism. However, most of the smaller islands remain isolated from visitors and still practice a traditional way of life that includes old-technique fishing, bird-trapping, and relying on totora for housing and transportation.

5. No Man's Land Fort, UK
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No Man’s Land Fort was a fort built in the Solent as part of the Palmerston Forts. It is 2.2 kilometers (1,4 miles) off the coast of the Isle of Wight and built between the years 1867 and 1880 to protect Portsmouth.
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The fort has all the luxury features you’d expect from a £4m home, including a swimming pool  The fort is nearly 200 feet across and rises 60 feet from the sea. Its water supply comes from a borehole sunk into the seabed and it has its own electricity generators.  Its sunken inner center is screened from the elements by a glass roof and it’s interior now contains all modern luxuries. As well as the themed bedrooms such as the history of Concorde room, it boasts jacuzzi, a gym, a roof garden and two restaurants.

6. Kansai International Airport, Japan
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Kansai International Airport is an early exemplar of what is now a handful of East Asian airports built on artificial islands. It is earthquake and typhoon-resistant, and proven against both. The lessons learned in building this island up from the silted floor of Osaka Bay saved headaches and bank accounts when construction began on other artificial island airports. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Kansai itself, which shot far over budget
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In 1987, builders erected Kansai's seawall, then excavated three mountains on the mainland to fill in the island. Its engineers knew the land would compress slowly downward soon after it was poured, but the island dropped further and quicker than anyone had guessed. To keep the travelers dry while the land sinks, the terminal is fitted with modular, adjustable columns, extended with steel plates at their bases as needed.

7. Northstar Island, USA
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British Petroleum built Northstar Island in the Beaufort Sea six miles north of the Alaskan coast to siphon off the Northstar Oil Pool, which resides about 12,500 feet below the seabed. The island is a workaround for an ice problem. Ice gathered annually around the shoreline and threatened the drilling machinery. A standard offshore platform was not enough protection. BP is forging ahead on plans to drill from Northstar in spite of the Obama administration's six-month offshore drilling moratorium. The company's rationale? As an island, and not an offshore platform, Northstar is exempt.

8. Palm Islands and Coastline, Dubai
Palm Jumeirah  photo source
Dubai's coast has grown garish with stylized beachfront lots for the wealthy. To date, there are two palm-tree-shaped islands crowned with sandy crescent strips with a planned third one on the way. There's also an inaccurate world map of sandy plots arranged in an oval, collectively called The World, and an island built for the world's only seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab
Palm Jumeirah  photo source
Jumeirah is the smallest palm island and the first one built. To make it, dredger ships pumped sand from the sea floor and spewed it out in an arc onto the site of the island's crescent breakwater. The builders covered it with an erosion-resistant cloth, then stacked layers of rocks on the sand. Then, assisted by GPS, they pumped sand inside the breakwater to carefully form the 16 fronds of the palm. The crescent is sliced twice with wide openings to allow the seawater to circulate and prevent stagnation.

9. Floating Mountain of Immortals, Belgium
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From a distance, the floating Island of the Immortals looks like a plate of lead melting in the sun. Up close, you can see that it's a steel sculpture of an eclectic bunch of subjects. Anchored in the North Sea, several hundred yards from the Belgian coast and a mile south of the Netherlands, it's a bizarre installation by the Chinese artist Zhan Wang
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The island is part of the Beaufort Art Trail, a collection of international exhibits dotting the 42 miles of the Belgian shore. Wang is known for his steel sculptures, though they are not all as large as this one. Emblems from mythology, the past and the future are immortalized on the island, including a fisherman, an elf, a cell phone and a computer.

10. Umihotaru, Japan
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A 9-kilometer-long hybrid of a bridge and a tunnel called the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line link the cities of Kawasaki and Kisarazu across Japan’s Tokyo Bay. The bridge meets the tunnel at Umihotaru, an artificial island, tourist attraction and rest area in the water (consisting of restaurants, shops and amusement facilities).
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The Aqua Line’s toll is steep, but for high-rolling drivers, it cuts the commute between the cities from an hour and a half to 15 minutes. Another nearby artificial island ventilates the tunnel and is powered by the near-constant winds across the bay.
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1 comment:

  1. If I will be able to visit those weird places, then I'll be the happiest woman on earth. I hope I could do that.

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