The top 20 modern wonders of the world, according to UK adults

Brits have named their modern wonders of the world, including the Channel Tunnel, Dubai's Burj Khalifa skyscraper – and the internet.

The International Space Station also ranked highly in the poll of 2,000 adults, alongside Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

It also emerged a quarter are more blown away by modern feats of engineering than those of the past. 

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Although 79 per cent weren’t aware of ‘The Line’, the ambitious project in Saudi Arabia to create an entire indoor city of the future – but of those that were, 36 per cent reckoned it’d trump all else.

The research was commissioned by National Geographic ahead to launch Building Impossible with Daniel Ashville, a six-part series starting 14th September at 8pm, which explores ground-breaking projects currently under construction.

Ground-breaking projects

Daniel, who has built his own construction empire from scratch, said: “There are incredible feats of engineering sprinkled across the globe and it seems inbuilt in humanity to never stop evolving and developing such creations. 

“The research is a celebration of these incredible creations and the wonder they can bring to those who are lucky enough to witness them with their own eyes.

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“But it doesn’t stop, as we speak there are people putting work into pushing the boundaries further than ever before with new feats of engineering.” 

Following the findings, a quiz has been created testing your knowledge of extreme engineering feats. 

The survey also found uniqueness, how much of an engineering marvel it is and the innovation that’s involved are the key elements that would make something worthy of being considered a modern wonder.  

And 40 per cent think it’s time for a new list of modern wonders of the world – with nine being seen as the ideal number. 

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Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre in Paris were the most visited iconic locations, followed by the colosseum in Rome, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia and the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.

When deciding which impressive sights are worth visiting, family and friends, TV shows and Google were the most common sources of inspiration.

Looking to the future, modern feats of engineering respondents would like to see included zero waste communities, smart eco-cities and sky gardens and farms. 

However, in the present, 62 per cent find it ‘mind bending’ at times thinking about how some modern buildings have been built. 

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And one in six come up with their own theories on how they were created, according to the OnePoll data. 

Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China and the pyramid of Giza were the creations that left respondents most baffled.

It also emerged 59 per cent reckon it’s crucial for the UK to continue constructing remarkable buildings and landmarks that solidify the country's significance on the global map. 

Building Impossible with Daniel Ashville takes viewers on an exploration of the world's most extraordinary and precarious builds - from the construction of the largest ocean-going cruise liner, ‘Icon of the Seas’ in Finland to the ground-breaking Brenner Tunnel beneath the Alps. 

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Simon Raikes, commissioning editor at National Geographic, said: "Sometimes it does really feel like the impossible has been made possible when you look at so many feats of engineering across the world. 

“Every one of the cutting-edge stadiums, bridges, ships, tunnels, and aircraft Daniel visits is pushing the limits of modern engineering - and so this series offers a fascinating insight into the imagination, ingenuity, and sheer hard work required to build the impossible.”

The top 20 wonders of the world, according to UK adults

  1. Great Wall of China: Modern sections and restoration efforts make it a symbol of engineering and history.
  2. International Space Station (ISS): A collaborative marvel of space technology and international cooperation.
  3. The Internet: Often considered one of the most transformative and significant technological innovations in human history.
  4. Panama Canal: An impressive feat of engineering connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
  5. Golden Gate Bridge: Suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate Strait in California, USA.
  6. Channel Tunnel: The undersea tunnel connecting the UK and France.
  7. Hubble Space Telescope: Transformative telescope providing images of the universe.
  8. Burj Khalifa: The world's tallest skyscraper, located in Dubai, UAE.
  9. Hoover Dam: A monumental dam on the border of Nevada and Arizona, USA.
  10. CERN Large Hadron Collider: A particle accelerator complex on the Swiss-French border.
  11. Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia: A cultural landmark and ongoing construction project, known for its intricate and unique architectural design, the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world.
  12. Hanging Gardens of Singapore: The innovative vertical gardens at the Gardens by the Bay.
  13. The Shard: A modern skyscraper in London, UK, featuring a distinctive glass façade.
  14. Shanghai Maglev Train: The world's fastest commercial train, using magnetic levitation technology.
  15. One World Trade Center: Rebuilt after 9/11, it's a symbol of resilience and remembrance.
  16. The Palm Jumeirah: An artificial island in Dubai, shaped like a palm tree, with luxury resorts and residences.
  17. Solar Impulse: The solar-powered aircraft that completed a round-the-world flight.
  18. Three Gorges Dam: The largest hydroelectric dam in the world, situated in China.
  19. Antarctic Research Stations: Modern scientific outposts like the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
  20. Dubai's Artificial Islands: Including The World and The Universe archipelagos.
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