This one is funny: everyone keeps saying that the Great Wall of China is the world’s largest man made structure. Technically, this is right. But guess what: there is something even bigger, in volume, and it’s called Fresh Kills.
Fresh Kills Landfill used to be New York’s landfill until 2001. It covers an area of 2,200 acres and used to be, at its peak, 25 metres taller than the Statue of Liberty, which technically means that it is the largest man made structure, in terms of volume. Have you seen all the movies where people jump from a bridge and a ship randomly appears out of nowhere, full of garbage, and saves their lives? Yes, it was one of the 20 barges that used to transfer 650 tons of garbage daily to the landfill (so, 13,000 tons altogether).
Fresh Kills was shut down in March 2001, but was reopened 6 months later, to receive the remnants of the September 2001 World Trade Center attacks (and was, subsequently, closed forever). Finally, in October 2009 the project called Freshkills Park started, a project aiming to turn the landfill into one of New York’s largest parks. A landfill put to good use I suppose…but still, the world’s largest man made structure.