Seven Wonders of the Modern World

01
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Channel Tunnel

Channel Tunnel
Trains enter the Channel Tunnel in Folkestone, England. The Channel Tunnel is a 50 km long rail tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Straits of Dover, connecting Folkestone, Kent in England to Coquelles near Calais in northern France. Scott Barbour/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The American Society of Civil Engineers selected Seven Wonders of the Modern World, engineering marvels that exemplified the abilities of humans to construct amazing features on Earth. This seven-page document will guide you through these Seven Wonders of the Modern World and will describe each "wonder" and its positive impact.

The first wonder in alphabetical order is the Channel Tunnel. Opened in 1994, the Channel Tunnel is a tunnel under the English Channel that connects Folkestone in the United Kingdom with Coquelles in France. The Channel Tunnel actually consists of three tunnels: two tunnels carry trains and a smaller middle tunnel is used as a service tunnel. The Channel Tunnel is 31.35 miles (50 km) long, with 24 of those miles located under water.

For more information about the Channel Tunnel, read the history of the Channel Tunnel and Facts About the Channel Tunnel.

02
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CN Tower

CN Tower
The CN Tower appears on the left-hand side of this photo of the Toronto, Ontario, Canada skyline and waterfront. Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

The CN Tower, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a telecommunications tower that was built by Canadian National Railways in 1976. Today, the CN Tower is federally owned and managed by Canada Lands Company (CLC) Limited. As of 2012, the CN Tower is the world's third largest tower at 553.3 meters (1,815 ft). The CN Tower broadcasts television, radio, and wireless signals throughout the Toronto region. The About.com Architecture GuideSite provides additional information about the CN Tower.

03
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Empire State Building

Empire State Building
The Empire State Building towers over the Manhattan skyline in New York City. Getty Images

When the Empire State Building opened on May 1, 1931, it was the tallest building in the world - standing at 1,250 feet tall. The Empire State Building became an icon of New York City as well as a symbol of human success in to achieving the impossible.

Located at 350 Fifth Avenue (between 33rd and 34th Streets) in New York City, the Empire State Building is a 102-story building. The height of the building to the top of its lightning rod is actually 1,454 feet.

Learn more about the incredible story of the construction of the Empire State Building from the About.com 20th Century History GuideSite.

04
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Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge
Cavan Images/The Image Bank/Getty Images
The Golden Gate Bridge, connecting the city of San Francisco with Marin County to its north, was the bridge with longest span in the world from the time it was completed in 1937 until the completion of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York in 1964. The Golden Gate Bridge is 1.7 miles long and about 41 million trips are made across the bridge each year. Prior to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, the only mode of transportation across San Francisco Bay was ferry.

Learn more about the Golden Gate Bridge from the About.com California Travel GuideSite.

05
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Itaipu Dam

Itaipu Dam
Water flows over the spillway of Itaipu Dam on the Parana River, bordering Brazil and Paraguay. Laurie Noble/Getty Images
Itaipu Dam, located on the border of Brazil and Paraguay, is the world's largest operating hydroelectric facility. Completed in 1984, the nearly five mile-long Itaipu Dam impounds the Parana River and creates the 110 mile-long Itaipu Reservoir. The electricity generated from Itaipu Dam, which is greater than the electricity generated by China's Three Gorges Dam, is shared by Brazil and Paraguay. The dam supplies Paraguay with more than 90% of its electrical needs.
06
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Netherlands North Sea Protection Works

Netherlands North Sea Protection Works
Aerial image of the old church of Wierum (well below sea level), with the North Sea in the background. Roelof Bos/Getty Images

Nearly one-third of the Netherlands lies below sea level. Despite being a coastal nation, the Netherlands has created new land from the North Sea through the use of dikes and other barriers to the ocean. From 1927 to 1932, a 19 mile-long dike called Afsluitdijk (the Closing Dike) was built, turning the Zuiderzee sea into the IJsselmeer, a freshwater lake. Further protective dikes and works were built, reclaiming the land of the IJsselmeer. The new land led to the creation of a the new province of Flevoland from what had been sea and water for centuries. Collectively this incredible project is known as the Netherlands North Sea Protection Works.

For more information, see the article about the Netherlands North Sea Protection Works here on my Geography GuideSite.

07
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The Panama Canal

Panama Canal
Locomotives help maneuver a ship through the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal as it is lowered into the lock. John Coletti/Getty Images

The 48 mile-long (77 km) international waterway known as the Panama Canal allows ships to pass between the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, saving about 8000 miles (12,875 km) from a journey around the southern tip of South America, Cape Horn. Built from 1904 to 1914, the Panama Canal was once a territory of the United States although today it is part of Panama. It takes approximately fifteen hours to traverse the canal through its three sets of locks (about half the time is spent waiting due to traffic). For more information about the Panama Canal read my article here on the Geography GuideSite.