Burj Dubai as self-exploding building

Burj Dubai. Der Spiegel photo

Der Spiegel calls the soon to open Burj Dubai, which will be the world’s tallest skyscraper, the “peak of meglomania” and ponders its size.

The tower is so enormous that the air temperature at the top is up to 8 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) lower than at the base. If anyone ever hit upon the idea of opening a door at the top and a door at the bottom, as well as the airlocks in between, a storm would rush through the air-conditioned building that would destroy most everything in its wake, except perhaps the heavy marble tiles in the luxury apartments. The phenomenon is called the “chimney effect.”

Sounds like a swell terrorist movie plot just waiting to happen. I wonder, will it ever be filled to anything remotely like full capacity? I doubt it. While the view from the top would be spectacular, it would probably also take about 20 minutes to get there. Plus, keeping this behemoth air-conditioned on one of their toasty 120 degree days will take insane amounts of energy. Then there’s that pesky ethical issue that it was built with slave labor.

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