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How world-famous landmarks would collapse if people disappeared - Life After People

Big Ben collapses

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When would Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty or the Taj Mahal crumble if people disappeared overnight? Life After People speaks with scientists, structural engineers and other experts to speculate about what the Earth would look like if human beings suddenly ceased to exist.

One hundred years after people, in London, the famous Big Ben clock tower is covered with vegetation. Its windows have blown out and chunks of decorative stonework have chipped away over the years. The top of the tower has always leaned 8.6 inches to the northwest. Over decades with no humans to manage the water level in the Thames, the river continually floods the surrounding banks slowly rotting Big Ben's foundations. After a hundred years or so the tilt within the tower will increase and gradually the tower will become more and more unstable until finally gravity takes over and the tower itself collapses into the ground.