We use lifts so often in modern society that we are just used to them being there. We use them without thought. If you live or work in a multi storey building you are probably used to using one every single day.
Lifts have come a long way since their inception. They can now be found in a number of different settings, including offices, garages and even waterways. Some of the individual designs have achieved some incredible feats; some are so unique that people travel from far afield to see these unusual contraptions.
Most of the lifts we use take us only a few floors, but around the world are some seriously impressive lifts that will set even the hardiest of nerves fluttering. We may be used to taking the lift up or down a few floors, but not many have taken a ride on a lift that scales the 1,070 ft (330m) cliff-face in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China. Known as the Bailong Elevator, it has been awarded the status of the world’s tallest elevator by the Guinness Book of world records.
The lift is affectionately referred to as the Hundred Dragons Elevator by locals. It’s glass design offers tourists breath-taking views of the sandstone mountains of the Wuling Mountain Range running through central China.
The upper 171.4m of the elevator is above ground and built into the side of the quartzite cliff. Tourists can ride in one of the three double-decker capsules which can carry a capacity of 4,900kg. The lifts ascend the 326m cliff face in just 92 seconds – not one for those with a fear of heights, or speeds.
The impressive structure took just 3 years to make, costing around £12m, which it has more than made up for thanks to the tourism it has brought to the area. It also caught the eye of Hollywood execs who chose to use the area as the mystical landscape of the ‘Hallelujah Mountains’ in the blockbuster movie Avatar.
For now, we’ll stick with our platform lifts and elevator systems. They cost much less and are a lot more practical.