oroville dam
Good Luck Repairing the Badly Damaged Oroville Dam

For three weeks in February, torrents of water rushed down the emergency spillway at Oroville dam, prompting fears that the entire structure would collapse. New images show what’s left of the 3,000-foot long concrete spillway — and the tremendous challenge that now confronts repair crews. Read More >>

watch this
Drone Footage of a Draining Dam Looks Like Flying Into a Black Hole

To prevent massive dams from overflowing when heavy rains cause water levels to rise, spillways like this are used to drain water to the stream below. Without a true sense of scale, it looks just like the drain in your bath, but from a drone’s bird’s eye view, the opening to this spillway looks more like a black hole sucking everything in. Read More >>

watch this
Biking on a Very Thin Handrail on Top of a 650-Foot Tall Dam is Stupidly Scary

Okay, like, riding a bike on a handrail on top of a dam is very clearly not the smartest thing a person could do. But damn, the views are actually sort of amazing. Read More >>

The World’s Largest Elevator Can Lift 6.7 Million Pounds of Ship

There are a lot of logistical problems that pop up when you build a 600-foot structure like the Three Gorges Dam in China’s Hubei province. For example, how do ships navigate the sudden extreme difference in water heights on either side of the dam? That’s an easy one. You just build the world’s largest elevator capable of lifting 6.7 million pounds of boat and water. Read More >>

How to Get a Fish to Cross a Dam

Imagine you're a herring, maybe about a foot long, swimming merrily upstream when you suddenly hit a giant concrete wall. How do you cross it? Engineers are now designing new fishways disguised as broad, rocky pools that help migrating fish make their way through dammed up rivers. Read More >>

monster machines
This Colossal Dam Keeps Russia’s Capital City Above Water

When Tsar Peter the Great founded the Russian city of Saint Petersburg more than 300 years ago, he intended it to provide a "window on the Baltic." Turns out, that window was more of a screen door. To protect itself, the city built a dam that took almost 300 years and £2.45 billion to complete. Read More >>

image cache
5 Remarkable Ghost Towns Drowned by Damming

Dams are as old as civilisation itself, but it’s only been within the last century that humans harnessed the construction savvy to build structures that could submerge valleys and create lakes. Read More >>