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  • this video was made possible by brilliant learn complex topics simply for 20% off by being one of the 1st 200 to sign up at brilliant dot org's slash real life floor.

  • Earth has around seven continents, depending on how you count them, but only three of those seven are actually connected.

  • And it's the Big Three that air in the Middle Europe, Asia and Africa are technically all connected with one another by land, which has led some to label all three.

  • Combined as a single super continent.

  • Afro Eurasia, Afro Eurasia is the largest contiguous landmass in the world.

  • It encompasses 57% of the world's land area and is home to 86% of the human population.

  • It's no wonder, then, that Afro Eurasia is sometimes referred to as the world island.

  • But the world island has a big connectivity problem.

  • While Asia is connected overland to both Africa and Europe, Europe and Africa, on their own remains separated from each other.

  • The only land connection between the two is by going all the way around the Black Sea, through Western Asia and finally across the Sinai Peninsula into Egypt, Europe and Africa.

  • are mostly separated from one another by the Mediterranean Sea.

  • But there's a couple spots inside of the sea where the two continents come extremely close to touching at the Strait of Gibraltar, where they're only 14 kilometers apart, and at the Strait of Sicily, where they're only 145 kilometers apart, connecting the two continents together by a bridge or a tunnel.

  • At either of these two narrowest points.

  • What forever changed the way that people and goods move across the world?

  • Island Europe is home to 746 million people and 25% of the global economy, while Africa is home to nearly 1.3 billion people and about 3% of the global economy.

  • A tunnel or bridge would connect billions of people and enable easier trade and transportation between both sides.

  • But actually constructing such a structure is a lot easier said than done.

  • Let's take a look at building something across the Strait of Gibraltar first, the narrowest point here between the continents is only 14.3 kilometers wide, and here's a list of dozens of bridges that already exists that air longer than that.

  • The Channel tunnel that connects England with France beneath the English Channel is even longer than that to at around 38 kilometers long.

  • The relatively shorter distance between Spain and Morocco isn't really the problem here, though.

  • It's the depth you see.

  • There is basically a giant underwater cliff right here in the middle of the straight because the water is about 900 m deep.

  • It some points for comparison.

  • The deepest point between England and France, where the Channel Tunnel was constructed, is on Lee 115 m beneath sea level, and that still took over six years and about €12 billion in today's money to construct building a 14 kilometer long tunnel or bridge under or over nearly a kilometer deep ocean is outside the realm of our current engineering capabilities, but it might just be possible to build one of the low key Haitian just gets shifted a little over to the west.

  • Over here, the distance between Europe and Africa is a little longer at around 23 kilometers instead of only 14.

  • But the ocean depth is at a much more manageable 300 m instead of 900 for another comparison, there is a tunnel under construction right now in Norway that is very comparable to this.

  • When completed in 2025 or 2026 the wrong fast fixed length will connect the Norwegian municipalities of random berg and broken with one another by a tunnel underneath a gigantic fjord.

  • The tunnel will stretch 27 kilometers long and reach a maximum depth beneath the ocean of 392 m, meaning that this tunnel will crush both the length and depth of a hypothetical tunnel between Europe and Africa at the Strait of Gibraltar.

  • Once again, though, the difficulty of Gibraltar is more than just an issue with length or depth.

  • Another major problem is the fact that the Strait of Gibraltar rests on a seriously active geological fault line called the Azores Gibraltar Transform Fault, which cuts right through the middle of the straight.

  • It's still an active fault line and has historically costs um, pretty massive earthquakes in the area like the 8.4 magnitude quake, the destroyed Lisbon in 17 55 and the 7.8 magnitude quake that leveled buildings and Portugal and Morocco in 1969.

  • The existence of this fault line and the threat of large earthquakes in the future is a significant engineering challenge for any tunnel or bridge in the area to overcome that neither the Channel Tunnel nor the Norwegian Rog fast fixed length ever faced.

  • So building a tunnel across the Strait of Gibraltar will be challenging for anybody who ever attempts it.

  • But the other potential area for a Europe Africa tunnel that I mentioned previously would be even more complicated.

  • The Strait of Sicily proposals have been made in the past for such a structure, but none have ever been incredibly serious.

  • I'd say that's mostly because a Sicily and Tunisia are separated from each other by 145 kilometers of open ocean and be Sicily is still just a island and isn't even connected to the European mainland itself.

  • Which means that another bridge would have to be built between Sicily and the Italian mainland for the whole thing toe work.

  • But none of that has stopped some insane proposals from being made anyway.

  • One such idea calls for the construction of four artificial islands between Sicily and Tunisia along a straight line, and the subsequent construction of five separate tunnels connecting the islands together with the Tunisian and Sicilian mainland's.

  • These tunnels would provide nonstop rail service between Palermo and Tunis, with a total transportation time of three hours each way, and would further connect the rail network of North Africa with the network in Europe.

  • Finally, this project would hopefully be combined with a long planned and troubled Strait of Messina bridge that would hypothetically connect Sicily with the Italian mainland.

  • The plan to build a suspension bridge here across the Strait of Messina has been around since the 19 nineties, but it's been fraught with problems ever since the Italian government canceled the bridge in 2006 over budget problems, resumed construction again in 2009 and then canceled it again in 2013 over even Mawr budget problems.

  • But if it had been built, the plan called for a 3.3 kilometer long suspension bridge that would be supported by two enormous 382 m high pillars, each one being taller than the Empire State Building and making the bridge by far the tallest structure anywhere in Italy and one of the tallest in all of Europe.

  • it would have accommodated six freeway lanes, a railway that could have supported 200 trains a day and two walkways.

  • It would've smashed the world record for the longest suspension bridge, more than doubling the length of the current longest suspension bridge in Japan that connects the main island of Hong Xu with the island of Awaji.

  • Mainly, though, the bridge would have dramatically increased the speed and ability to travel between the Italian mainland and Sicily, but at an estimated price of over €6 billion.

  • It wasn't going to come cheap, especially not when you consider that there's already unaffordable and easy ferry service between the two sides than anyone could take.

  • Ultimately, this is the main problem with all of these crazy ideas to connect Africa to Europe or even Sicily to Italy.

  • There's just already fairies that provide this service.

  • And while they're not necessarily is convenient for everyday people there dramatically cheaper to maintain than the construction of colossal mega projects.

  • There are three fairies that leave every single week between Palermo and Tunis.

  • They take a bit over nine hours, and they only cost 40 to €60 and there are almost constant fairies every day across the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco that only take about an hour and only cost €35.

  • If you really want to take a road trip between Europe and Africa, you can easily do it today just by taking a ferry with your car like any of these.

  • And so the construction of a multi billion dollar bridge that may or may not even be possible in the first place just stops making sense.

  • The more you kind of think about it, designing bridges between two points is incredibly challenging.

  • If you think it's easy to design a massive bridge yourself between places like Italy and Sicily, or even between Europe and Africa, or anywhere else, you'll need a pretty firm grasp on things like physics, low distribution, tension, torque, gravity and much more and all of those things you can learn about in depth by using brilliant and taking their physics of the everyday course.

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B1 tunnel strait sicily gibraltar africa europe

The Insane Plan to Build a Europe to Africa Tunnel

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/08
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