There's no way to escape it, the world is changing around us!
As a 90s kid who is now 4 years off of being 30, the blanket of youth is slowly starting to be pulled off of me by the younger siblings in the bed; exposing me to the cold draft that is unfortunately reality... School children now have the latest iPhone, whereas I remember the infamous Nokia 3310 coming out and going to town at the weekend to buy changeable covers for it that had dragons on... also everyone wore flame shirts. (Early 2000's were strange, weren't they?)
This isn't meant to be a belated coming of age confession, but more a personal realisation that the human race is constantly adapting and improving... not only is it easy to look back on old ways of doing things from the comfort of the contemporary, it's interesting to think how modern improvements could have benefited not only ourselves at an earlier time, but civilisations that came before us. More recently, whilst trying to think of things to write about, I ended up musing on the Egyptian Pyramids: one of the seven wonders of the world and how much easier it would have been to make with hydraulic machinery.... or even perhaps how much grander they could have been?
The general consensus is that the ancient pyramid in Giza took 20 years and 100,000 slaves to complete back in circa 2500s BC; What if they had the advantage of hydraulic machinery back then?
The website Building the Great Pyramid has done some interesting research & estimates into the pyramid and have guestimated the pyramid to be made of 2.5 million individual stones!
To be done in 20 years, the daily work output would have most likely been 342 stones a day, each weighing 2.5 ton on average to complete the build on schedule. This is already getting fact heavy...
Champion weightlifter Eddie Hall recently set the new world record of deadlifting 500kg; with this in mind you'd need 5 Eddies to lift just one stone, let alone the most likely malnourished plague of slaves that toiled on this feat!
Enter the hydraulic machinery: there are now mobile cranes (attached to the back of lorries) that are capable of lifting weights of 500 tons using merely the power of pressurised oil... If you had a few 500 ton mobile hydraulic cranes, this would have sped production up massively; one of these cranes alone (in theory) would have been able to handle 200 stones at once.
A 500 ton mobile crane in action!
Bear in mind these are all gross guestimations but it's safe to say with a few of these cranes, the ancient pyramid in giza in ideal conditions would have most likely taken a couple years max and probably a thounsandth of the workforce!
To some this up in a very quick fashion, they would have been built a hell of a lot quicker if they had some hydraulic machinery!
Have you ever had any thoughts along the same wavelength? Or do you have some hydraulic or pneumatic knowledge that'd probably only come in handy at a very specific pub quiz? Either or, I'd love to hear from you!