Great Shakes!

Do you think the Great Wall of China is the biggest wonder ever, not least of all because it is visible from the moon with the naked eye?

Before you answer that, here’s something that might interest you.

The Great Wall of China is not a continuous wall at all. It’s a collection of short walls that follow the crest of hills on the southern edge of the Mongolian plain. (I didn't know that. Did you? And why would you want a wall like that?)

Since the Great Wall wasn't one continuous wall, Mongolian invaders easily breached it. They simply went around it. Ha! So much for the Great Wall! Now that explains why it was eventually abandoned.

So what of that myth of being able to see the Great Wall from space? That originated in Richard Halliburton's 1938 book titled Second Book of Marvels, a book that came out long before we Earthlings got a glimpse of our home from space. The book claimed that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from the moon.

Of course, from a low-earth-orbit you can see the Great Wall of China. So can you see highways, ships, railroads, cities, rice fields and even some buildings. But on leaving Earth's orbit, no man-made object is visible. NASA says, "The Great Wall can barely be seen from the Shuttle, so it would not be possible to see it from the Moon with the naked eye." Ummm…

There's more juice here. And a contradiction here. And more dope on The Wall here.

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