After thousands of years, the Great Wall of China is showing signs of its age. One of the country’s most recognizable landmarks—and a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is eroding rapidly, and some 30 percent of it has already disappeared, according to Chinese state media.
The massive wall was built piecemeal over several centuries, with construction on some parts of the system beginning as early as the 7th century BCE. Most of what we know as the wall today comes from the Ming Dynasty period, which began in the 1300s.
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The Great Wall is somewhere between 5500 and 13,170 miles long, depending on who you ask. However, around 1219 miles of the almost 4000 miles built during the Ming Dynasty have disappeared, according to the Bejing Times, because of exposure to the elements, plant growth, high levels of tourism, and theft of bricks.
Sadly, that’ll make it even harder to see from space.