The Largest Machines in the World
Have you ever seen something your own eyes and although you know it’s real – you can’t fathom how it came to be? That’s what this entire post is dedicated to. The moments when you see a machine and you can’t completely put together how in the world humans produced such a massive thing. But nonetheless, they certainly did. Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you: the 40 largest machines in the world!
Large Hadron collider
The Large Hadron Collider is without a doubt one of the biggest machines man has ever managed to build. The machine was built to study subatomic particles and the tiniest of things. Isn’t it ironic that one of the largest machines ever built by man was built to study the smallest observable things in our universe? The machine is 27 kilometers in circumference and is currently about 175 meters underground in Geneva, Switzerland.
If you hate spiders and all other such crawling things, you would definitely hate this machine. La Princesse is a gigantic mechanical spider that weighs about 37 tonnes and stands at 15 meters. It takes about twelve people working together to even operate her and to move her from one to place to another you’d need about 8 cherry pickers, 16 cranes and a crew of 250 men. What a huge machine, right?
The world’s biggest ship is no small machine. Well, technically, the prelude isn’t a ship. You probably wouldn’t be able to take it on a cruise even if you wanted. It’s actually a floating gas facility and it is about 487 meters long. If the Prelude was laid side by side with the empire state building, it would be 45 meters longer than it. When the ship is fully laden, it can weigh up to 600 thousand tonnes. How can something that weighs this much even float?
P&H 4100XPC Electric Rope Shovel
The name of this machine may be complicated, but its size is definitely not. It’s extremely big, and that’s just that about that. The electric shovel allows one man to lift up to 67 cubic meters, and it weighs about 98 kilograms.
When Emma was launched in 2006, she was the single largest ship ever to have been built. The container ship is extremely large and has a length of about a thousand feet. The ship is widely regarded as one of the mightiest ships in the world. Unlike the Prelude, Emma Maersk is an actual ship and is mostly used to transport cargo.
The Stratolaunch is the world’s largest aircraft, and it was revealed in 2018 by Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen. The plane has a 117-meter wingspan and weighs about 580 tons. The plane needs about six engines to even get off the ground and was basically designed to launch rockets into space from the air. Imagine that. It took flight for the first time on April 13, 2019. Built for Stratolaunch Systems by Scaled Composites, the Stratolaunch’s main mission is to carry air-launch-to-orbit rockets.
This monster looks like a truck that wants to become a house, and in some ways, it is actually that. This truck was made for moving huge loads of rubble and is exactly built like that. It is powered by a hybrid diesel engine and it has about 13,738 pounds of torque. That’s more than the power of seventeen heavy-duty trucks combined. That’s real power.
The proof, of course, is in the name. Earthmovers are generally big, but the big Muskie was in a class of its own. In fact, for a long time, it was the largest earthmover in the world. It was almost five hundred feet long, and it had a width of 151 feet. However, it’s in scraps today. It simply got too expensive to maintain. Fun fact: 151 feet is roughly the size of the State of Liberty from base to torch!
The Queen Of Netherlands
Um, the actual queen of Netherlands isn’t a machine— at least we think she isn’t. This queen of Netherlands is a hopper dredging ship that was built in 1998. The ship has a gross tonnage of 33,434 tonnes and has a deadweight of about 60000 tonnes. The ship is about 230 meters long and is 33 meters wide. Imagine how many men it took to put this entire contraption together!
The NASA crawler
The NASA crawler is about 50 years old, but it is still an impressive machine. In fact, we may go as far as calling it an engineering marvel, because that’s what it is. The machine is about forty meters long and is 35 meters wide. It weighs an immense 2,720 tonnes and it was used to move NASA rockets from one site to another. But it is quite slow though and moves at 1 mph.
Have you ever seen a telescope? They are usually really tiny things. Well, not tiny, but they aren’t usually the size of a school boss. But this telescope is the size of a school bus. The primary mirror of the telescope is about 7 feet across, and the telescope is about 43 feet long— which is just about the length of the average school bus.
Antonov An-225 “Mriya”
The Antonov isn’t just your regular plane. In fact, it is as far from regular as possible. It is one of the world’s biggest planes and it is actually the world’s biggest cargo plane. It is powered by 6 enormous turbofan engines and has a wingspan of 88.4 meters. It is also 88 meters in length and it weighs about 285,000 kg when empty.
FAST— The World’s largest Telescope
FAST or Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (that’s the full name, for some reason) is a radio telescope that is located in the Dawodang depression in Pingtung County in SW China. The telescope is 500 meters in diameter, and it is the world’s largest filled-aperture radio telescope. It’s also the second-largest single-dish aperture after the sparsely-filled RATAN-600 in Russia.
Schwerer Gustav Gun
The largest gun ever conceived has to be the Schwerer Gustav Gun. This gun was actually developed by the Third Reich during the second world war and was so big that it needed to be mounted on a rail car. The gun was basically a canon developed to help the Nazis break through the formidable Maginot line that the French had built to prevent German invasion after world war one. But because it was so large it could only travel by rail car, that means that it could only be used if there was a railroad nearby! This made it essentially useless because there wasn’t too many battles being fought conveniently close to a railway.
A Remote Controlled Dragon
The world’s largest remote-controlled robot appears to be a dragon. It seems that you don’t have to wait until someone actually recreates Jurassic park before you can actually see a dragon. Germany’s Zollner Elektronik AG spent about six years building this monstrous robot and was able to do so with a 15 man team dedicated to bringing a robot dragon to life. Why? Well, the question should be why not.
The World’s Largest Motorbike
This bike was built by Fabio Reggiani and is probably the biggest bike you’ll ever see. The bike stands at a height of 5 meters and weighs about 5.5 tons. The bike is actually the biggest two-wheeled vehicle to ever travel at 91 meters. And yes, you saw that right. Just at the back of the bike is the actual place where the rider sits. The handles are just for show.
When building terribly big machines, you’ll have to use another terribly big machine to help you move parts around, and one of such machines is the Taisun Crane. The crane is widely regarded as the most powerful crane in the world, and it has a payload of over 20000 tonnes. It’s little wonder that the crane is mostly used at the Yantai Raffles Shipyard in China to build ships.
International Space Station
If you thought all the biggest machines that man has ever built are right with us on earth, you must have another thing coming. The International space station, this gigantic moving machine, has been home to many astronauts of diverse backgrounds since 1998. It’s certainly one of the most impressive machines man has ever built.
Le Tourneau L-2350
Le Tourneau is currently the biggest earthmover in the world, and it’s a veritable beast. It can lift about 72 tonnes of earth. That’s a lot when you consider that one elephant usually weighs about 4 tonnes. So this truck can lift the equivalent of about 18 full-grown elephants. This beast of a machine also has a bucket of 40.52 cubic meters and a 2300 horsepower engine. That’s a lot.
The Bagger 288
The Bagger 288 is an absolutely gigantic machine and it was built by the German company Krupp. It’s basically a bucket wheel Excavator that is designed and used as a mobile strip mining machine. The design and construction of the machine took about 10 years and it cost a neat fortune to make. The Bagger is 96 meters tall, 46 meters wide and 255 meters long.
This bulldozer is currently the largest one in production, and what a testament to engineering it is. It was first produced in 1991 and has since then proved to be the best bulldozer for bulldozing daunting structures. It’s used by surface miners all over the world and can dig up to a maximum depth of six feet using its single shank ripper. The bulldozer is 16 feet tall and 24 feet wide.
Liebherr 9800 Mining Excavator
This excavator is, without a doubt, one of the world’s largest bucket excavators. Excavators are usually very large, but this one is in an actual class of its own. It weighs about 800 tonnes and has a bucket capacity of about 47 cubic meters. Can it even get bigger than this? It shouldn’t, really, but humans generally don’t know when to stop. Look at the humans in the bottom right corner for a size comparison!
The Seaside Giant
When a ship has the word giant in its name, you should know that means a huge deal. This ship is also known as “happy giant”, “Oppama” and “mount”, and it was once the largest and longest ship ever conceived by humans. How large was the giant? Well, it was so large that it wasn’t able to navigate some waterways. Examples include the English Channel, the Suez Canal, and the Panama Canal.
OOCL Hong Kong
The OOCL Hong Kong was built by Samsung heavy industries and is one of the largest cargo ships ever built. The ship has a carrying capacity of 21,413 TEUs and is the biggest ship to be powered by an internal combustion engine. For laymen, it has a carrying capacity of about 200,000 tonnes and has a length of 399 meters. That’s huge, even for a ship.
Overburden Conveyor Bridge F60
This monster you’re looking at is the world’s biggest conveyor bridge. It’s even difficult to measure the entire structure of the bridge. . . because how are you even going to do it? Well, you can try. And if you tried, you would find out that it is about 502 meters long, 202 meters wide and about 80 meters tall. The bridge weighs about eleven thousand tonnes.
The World’s Largest Vending Machine
Vending machines aren’t usually very large. We would know— we’ve used one (and so have you, we suspect). When Berjaya Times Square, a gigantic shopping mall in Malaysia, decided to celebrate its tenth year anniversary by building the largest vending machine in the world, everyone was kind shocked. It took over six months to build the machine, and it took seven weeks for the thing to even be assembled. The machine, when completed, weighed over 7,000 pounds. So what does this machine dispense? Anything from large screen TVs, to iPads, spa packages and theme park passes.
The Bucyrus is the world’s biggest hydraulic excavator, and what a sight it is. The machine is owned by catapillar and weighs about 980 tonnes. It has a length of over ten meters and has a width of 8.6 meters. Just a scoop of this shovel can remove about 45 cubic meters of material. Yes, it really is that powerful.
Of course, it’s called Big Bertha. What else would you call this titan of a machine? The Bug Bertha is about 300 feet long and is just around five stories high. That’s huge! The machine weighs about seven thousand tonnes as well and can only be shipped between worksites. So what’s the Big Bertha used for? It’s a huge borer used for boring holes in the ground. So next time you use a subway train, know that the Big Bertha (or a machine almost as big) was there.
Metso’s Lokotrack LT200
This large machine is the largest mobile crusher in the world, and it weighs an amazing 368 tonnes. However, it has a capacity of crushing 2268 tonnes per hour. That’s not normal, any way you look at it. The capacity of this machine ensures that it’s one of the most in-demand machines in mining.
TI-class Supertanker— Oceania
Regular tankers don’t get called Supertankers. In fact, no one seriously adds the prefix super to anything regular. This should tell you something about the TI-class Supertanker. The TI Oceania especially was built in 2001 and was officially launched in 2002. The tanker measures about 380 meters lengthwise and 68 meters breadthwise. It also has a remarkable deadweight tonnage of about 400,000 tonnes.
CAT 6090 Hydraulic Shovel
In 2012, Caterpillar introduced to the world the largest hydraulic shovel ever built, and it was beautiful. However, it wasn’t only beautiful, it was gigantic. The Cat 6090 hydraulic shovel weighs about a thousand tonnes. This, of course, maybe small compared to ships and other such machines, but a thousand tonnes is a lot when compared to other machines of its class.
TI-Class Supertanker— Africa
The TI-Class Supertanker Africa is a part of the famed “Fantastic Four”, a group of four super large ships. This tanker is the second oldest between the quartet and it is about 380 meters long. It also has the capacity to carry about five million litres of crude oil. That’s some heavy capacity, wouldn’t you say?
TI-Class Supertanker— Asia
The TI-Asia was launched in June 2001 and was the first supertanker to be made. The ship has roughly the same measurements as her sister ships. It’s 380 meters long, and it can carry about 5 million litres of crude oil, just like its sister ships. In 2010, after near a decade of crude cargo hauling, the ship was converted to be used as a floating, storage and offloading vessel.
National Ignition Facility
The National Ignition Facility is so large that even three football fields cannot fit in it. But what’s in this facility, and why is it on this list? Well, the facility holds the largest, most energetic and most precise telescope in the world. It’s the world’s largest optional instrument, and it’s a pretty huge one.
Ligo Gravitational Wave Detectors
The Ligo Gravitational-wave detectors took about five years to build and were inaugurated in 1999. They are basically L shaped vacuum chambers that are about 2.5 miles long. These machines were actually created to detect ripples in the fabric of space-time which are known as gravitational waves. Without these detectors we could never have proven that gravitational waves exist.
A list like this cannot possibly be complete without the longest train in the world. The Ghan is comfortably the world’s longest passenger train, and it is the combined length of 12 soccer pitches. Despite being so long, the train travels at an average speed of 52 miles per hour. It can even reach a top speed of 72 miles per hour.
TI-Class Supertanker— Europe
The TI-Class Supertanker Europe was built in 2001 and was launched in 2002. The ship is extraordinarily large and has a gross tonnage of 234,006 tonnes. This means that the tanker can carry over five million litres of crude oil. It’s little wonder that the TI— Europe (that’s what it’s often called) is part of the “fantastic four”, a group of super-large tankers.
Calling a ship the pioneering Spirit sounds a bit off until you learn that it’s actually the largest ship in the world by gross tonnage. This ship was particularly designed for single-lift installation and the removal of large oil and gas platforms. It is about 382 meters long, and it has a depth of 30 meters. It is indeed the Pioneering spirit.
1962 ZIL-E-167 6×6
Weird name, right? Well, the Soviets actually built this machine, so what did you expect? The truck was actually developed to be able to reach far north towns in any weather (or invade other countries, you know, because the Soviets were pretty big on annexations). The entire truck is about 30 feet long, 9 feet wide and 9 feet high. It may not be the longest truck ever, but this bad boy was certainly quite intimidating.