The Largest Object Ever Moved By Mankind

Just off of the west coast of Norway sits the tallest and heaviest object that mankind has ever moved. It weighs 1.2 million tons (1.1 Mil metric tons), stands 1548 feet high (472 m), and is one of the most complex engineering projects in all of history. This object is known as the Troll A gas platform.

Learn more by watching the video below or continuing to read.

This natural gas platform sits on the Troll gas field, located 174 miles (280 km) off the western coast of Norway. Rather than construct this massive structure in place in the middle of the ocean, engineers decided it would be much easier to build it on land and then move it into the proper location. This ultimately resulted in 10 tugboats pulling the structure over water on this 174-mile journey.

The trek itself was a televised sensation in 1996 when it was towed into the North Sea.

The platform now stands on the sea floor 303 meters below the water’s surface on massive foundational legs. Inside one of these legs, engineers constructed an elevator for the crew to arrive onboard from. Riding this elevator from sea level all the way to the operational platform takes more than 9 minutes. To grasp the sheer size of the structure even further, from its base to its tallest point, it’s taller than the famous Petronas Towers in Malaysia.

Image Source: Concerning Reality

Each of the leg walls are over 3 feet thick and made of steel reinforced concrete formed in a continuous pour. This may not sound impressive, but facilitating the creation of these legs was an engineering marvel of its own. A continuous pour was needed to achieve the proper strength for each leg – after all, they had to stand up to the massive wave forces at sea. Each leg is about 1200 feet tall and it reportedly took 20 minutes of pouring for every .15 feet of leg. That means that the pouring process for one leg would’ve taken roughly 100 days.

Massive tower cranes were used to pump the concrete up to the top of the legs forming one seamless structure.

Image Source: Concerning Reality

The entire project cost roughly 650 million dollars and took 5 years to complete. Norwegian Contractors worked as the main developer on the project for Norske Shell, the managing oil company at the time. It’s now run by Statoil. Upon completion in 1996, the tower set the Guinness World Record for the largest offshore gas platform. Unfortunately for Troll A, that record now belongs to the Petronius platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Troll A does, however, still remain as the largest object ever moved in human history.

Trevor is a civil engineer (B.S.) by trade and an accomplished writer with a passion for inspiring everyone with new and exciting technologies. He is also a published children’s book author and the producer for the YouTube channel Concerning Reality.


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