Dams can prevent flooding, generate thousands of megawatts of hydroelectric power, and form lakes that people enjoy year round. But they also have a destructive side, from environmental destruction to catastrophic collapses. This week, we take a look at the mighty power of dams.
The beavers that built this dam were definitely busy. Located on the southern edge of Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta, the structure is an incredible 2,790 feet, a size that makes it ?more than twice the length of the Hoover dam??and visible from space.
China’s massive Three Gorges project is the largest dam in the world, and one of the most controversial. As this video explains, the dam is a marvel of engineering, wider than the Golden Gate Bridge is long. But It’s also displaced some two million people and obliterated priceless ancient artifacts.
On December 14, 1963, the Baldwin Hills dam broke and flooded the hills near Los Angeles. It wasn’t the biggest dam disaster in history, but this footage is interesting because it marked the first time in US history that aerial pictures of a disaster were broadcast live to audiences.
Idaho’s Teton Dam demonstrates how nature can so easily undermine human technology. The dam was pushed through to completion in the early 1970s, an ambitious project that planners hoped would ?change the scenery forever.? It did?collapsing dramatically and flooding over three hundred square miles.