Humans are funny creatures. We’ve built temples and skyscrapers, giant statues and amazing bridges. And in our spare time, we also build tunnels! In this post, we take a look at the most fascinating tunnels in the world that humans have built by their own hand.
1. Longest Tunnel – Laerdal Tunnel, Norway
Driving through tunnels can often make you feel like you’re in a whole different world and the Laerdal Tunnel in Norway is no exception! Running for 24 kilometres, the Laerdal is the longest road tunnel in the world and connects the towns of Oslo and Bergen.
In order to prevent driver fatigue, the tunnel’s engineers have cased it in a variety of different lights and systems, making the drive truly spectacular.
2. Most Famous Tunnel – Channel Tunnel, UK-France
Another underground wonder otherwise known as ‘Chunnel’, this cool tunnel runs underneath the English Channel and is famed for housing various scenes in movies like Mission Impossible, The Avengers and A Clockwork Orange. The UK’s new TV Show, “The Tunnel” is also set here.
3. Deepest Tunnel – Seikan Tunnel, Japan
It’s a tunnel under an island and at 240 metres below sea level, the Seikan is the deepest running railway tunnel on the planet. Connecting the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, the Seikan has been running since 1988 and is also commonly known as the world’s longest rail tunnel (at 53.8 kilometres).
It’ll lose that title, however, when the Gotthard Base Tunnel in the Swiss Alps opens in 2016.
4. Most Loving Tunnel – Tunnel of Love, Ukraine
If you’re wondering what the most beautiful tunnel on Earth might be, Ukraine’s Tunnel of Love probably takes the top prize. Located in Kleven, this tunnel is part of an amusement railway attraction and is a common strolling point for lovers – easy to see why!
5. Oldest Underwater Tunnel – Thames Tunnel, UK
It ain’t that long and it ain’t that pretty either, but the Thames Tunnel was the first ever to be constructed under a navigable river and back in 1843, it was an engineering and architectural stunner.
The best way to get into the tunnel is to take a journey on the overground railway, though originally it was actually built to accommodate horse-drawn carriages!
6. Most Moving Tunnel – Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
The Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam are most famous for their role in supporting the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War and today they are a popular memorial site for those wishing to learn more about the war and the people who participated in it.
7. Ancient Tunnel – Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Israel
Dug and constructed in the City of David in Jerusalem, Hezekiah’s Tunnel is half a kilometre long and is believed to have come to light in the 8th or 9th Centuries B.C. Also known as ‘Siloam Tunnel’, it was created as an aqueduct to provide Jerusalem with water in the event of a siege.
8. Most Spectacular Tunnel – Guoliang Tunnel, China
While there are no doubt many breathtaking tunnels you can explore around the world, the Guoliang Tunnel stands out because it is, quite simply, carved into the side of a mountain. The Tunnel Road here is one of the most famous on Earth and is known for being both a spectacular but dangerous drive.